Region 10 Employees Pitch In to Recycle E-Waste
Seattle Federal government employees saved more than 4,800 pounds of old computers, monitors, printers, cell phones, and batteries from the landfill on November 15, America Recycles Day, at an electronic waste recycling event sponsored by GSA’s Northwest Arctic Region and the Region 10 Environmental Protection Agency.
In partnership with Total Reclaim, a federally certified electronic waste recycler, employees brought in their unused electronics to make sure they ended up at recycler skilled at disposing of electronic waste. GSA Regional Administrator George Northcroft and EPA Regional Administrator Dennis McLerran kicked off the event, which was free to employees in the Jackson Federal Building and Federal Office Building, by recycling old laptops they brought from home.
Electronic waste - or e-waste - can cause pollution and health problems if not disposed of properly by a certified electronic waste recycler. Certified recyclers meet standards for taking apart and safely disposing of the hazardous materials found in many common electronics like cell phones and personal printers.
The federal government is the nation’s largest single consumer of electronics, purchasing about $85 billion of information technology annually, of which nearly $14 billion is for equipment. By some estimates, the federal government disposes of 10,000 computers – every week. Unfortunately many electronic products end up in schools or libraries, but others no doubt finish their useful lives in landfills. The Federal government is committed to increasing electronics recycling at both the individual and organization level, and this past summer adopted the “National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship" – a strategy for the responsible electronic design, purchasing,
Citizens and government alike can help reduce environmental problems caused by old electronics by recycling them properly, and buying the right electronics in the first place. GSA helps Federal agencies purchase recycle-ready new electronics through the Multiple Award Schedules purchasing program, and assists with disposing old government electronics through the Computers for Learning and Excess Federal Property programs.