BAN Launches Electronics Recycling Certification

The Basel Action Network (BAN) has launched the world’s first global e-waste recycler certification and the first such program backed by environmental organizations and major corporations alike.

The accredited, third-party audited certification program has been endorsed by Greenpeace USA, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Electronics TakeBack Coalition and 68 other environmental organizations as well as Apollo Group, Bank of America, Capitol One Financial, Premier, Inc., Samsung, and Wells Fargo.

“Samsung is honored to be the first electronics manufacturer recognized with the e-Stewards standard for rigorous recycling and e-waste materials management,” said J. C. Ser, senior vice president for Samsung Electronics America. “This is a major validation of our efforts as we have responsibly recycled more than 20 million pounds of e-waste since the beginning of our Samsung Recycling Direct program in 2008 and plan to continue strengthening our commitment and leadership in this industry.”

At the heart of the program is the e-Stewards Standard, created by BAN with the advice of industry leaders and health and environmental specialists. It calls for recyclers to eliminate exports of hazardous e-wastes to developing countries; to halt the dumping of such wastes in municipal landfills or incinerators; and to cease the use of captive prison populations to manage toxic e-wastes. It also calls for strict protection of customer’s private data and occupational health safeguards to ensure that workers in recycling plants are not exposed to toxic dusts and fumes.

“The e-Stewards Enterprise program makes it easy for us to demonstrate that our electronic waste management standards are responsible and align with best practices. By using e-Stewards Recyclers, we know that our old computers and other electronics aren't going to be disposed of in a way that harms people or the environment and that, when possible, electronic components are recycled and reused,” said Mary Wenzel, director of Environmental Affairs, Wells Fargo.

Currently there are about 50 e-Stewards Recyclers, each of which has passed a rigorous internal review by BAN as a preliminary step to full certification. All are regarded as responsible recyclers, and each has committed to becoming fully certified by September 2011. Today’s announcement names the first companies that have become fully certified. They have passed additional, independent audits conducted by three ANAB accredited certifying Bodies: AQA International LLC, Orion Registrar Inc., and SAI Global. These very first Certified e-Stewards Recyclers are:

  • Newport Computer Services, Inc. (one U.S. location),
  • Redemtech (all four U.S. locations)
  • WeRecycle! (one U.S. location)

An additional 12 recyclers have contracted with certifying bodies to begin the process. They are A greenSpan Computer Recycling, California Electronic Asset Recovery (CEAR), CloudBlue, Creative Recycling Solutions, eGreen IT Solutions, Glezco (Mexico), Materials Processing Corporation, Metech, Nextend, Regency Technologies, Surplus Exchange, and Universal Recycling Technologies.

“We are making history here,” said Mick Schum, president of WeRecycle! “Today, e-Stewards Recyclers and their customers are taking a significant step forward in achieving the most responsible level of management for obsolete electronic equipment. Now, we can provide a competitive domestic alternative to the irresponsible exportation and dumping that runs rampant throughout the industry. Finally, consumers can really know they are doing the right thing when they recycle their old electronics and as Certified e-Stewards Recyclers, we can prove it.”