EPA and GSA Regional Administrators Tour Certified Electronics Recycling Facility in Dallas
(DALLAS – November 15, 2011) At an event in Dallas today, EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz and General Services Administration (GSA) Regional Administrator J.D. Salinas III toured a Dallas electronics recycler as part of the Obama administration’s “National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship” – a strategy for the responsible electronic design, purchasing, management and recycling that promotes sound electronics recycling (e-cycling).
The event at Hobi International, Inc. exemplifies EPA and GSA’s partnership with industry aimed at promoting environmentally sound management of used electronics, which goes hand in hand with creating green jobs. Hobi International, Inc. is a leader in e-waste recovery and recycling and part of the R2 certification program, a third party certification promoting environmentally responsible practices in the electronics recycling industry. Hobi International, Inc. manages e-waste generated by recycling used cell phones and IT equipment.
“Hobi International is helping to ensure yesterday’s high-tech electronics do not become tomorrow’s contaminated garbage,” said Mr. Armendariz. “By reminding Americans that recycling should not stop at the curb, EPA and Hobi International are helping transform our throw-away culture into a recycling culture”
This event follows the recent voluntary commitment from Dell, Sprint and Sony to promote certified recycling, protect public health, and support best practices in electronics stewardship. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has also committed the federal government to take specific actions that will encourage the more environmentally friendly design of electronic products, promote recycling of used or discarded electronics, and advance a domestic market for electronics recycling that will protect public health and create jobs.
“We are going to ensure the nation’s largest consumer of electronics, the federal government, becomes the most responsible user of electronics,” said Mr. Salinas. “All electronics purchased by the federal government will be reused and then recycled by a certified recycler, whether they’re disposed of by a federal agency, collected through a manufacturer take-back agreement, or reused by a school or private consumer.”
Every year, Americans generate almost 2.5 million tons of used electronics, which are made from valuable resources such as precious metals and rare earth materials, as well as plastic and glass. From computers and cell phones, to portable communication and music devices – the United States is, and will continue to be, a global leader in designing and developing new and improved electronic technologies. The responsible management of electronics provides an opportunity to create electronic development and jobs by developing a strong domestic electronics recycling market while preventing pollution at home and abroad.
GSA is also removing products that do not comply with comprehensive and robust energy efficiency or environmental performance standards from its information technology purchase contracts used by federal agencies, and is ensuring that all electronics used by the federal government are recycled properly. In addition, EPA and GSA are promoting the development of new environmental performance standards for categories of electronic products not covered by current standards.
A key component of this strategy includes the use of certified recyclers and increasing safe and effective management and handling of used electronics in the United States and working with industry in a collaborative manner to achieve that goal.
The collaboration with industry aims to encourage businesses and consumers to recycle their electronics with certified recyclers, and for electronic recyclers to become certified. There are two existing domestic third-party certification recycling entities, R2 and E-Stewards. The electronics recycling industry is increasingly embracing these certification programs. Certified recyclers are regularly audited by these certification entities to ensure that electronics are recycled in a manner that is safe for public health and the environment. As demonstrated by the event at Hobi International, Inc. today, EPA and GSA continue to work with industry and federal partners and encourages businesses to use certified recyclers to help grow the domestic recycling market.
More information on the EPA and industry collaboration is available at http://www.epa.gov/electronicsstrategy
More information on GSA’s electronic stewardship goals and promoting federal agencies’ purchasing Environmentally Preferable Products is available at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/234565
More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html
EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/nov2011.html
November 15 is America Recycles Day