Exploring Recycling Certification - RIOS, R2, & eStewards

If you are looking for electronic waste recycling for your home or business, chances are you have come across several electronic waste recycling companies online.  Many of these companies display various recycling industry certifications on their websites.  What do these certifications mean, and are they truly significant?

Recycling industry certifications should be considered extremely important – by earning these certifications, organizations show that they are following strict industry safety and environmental standards. And by working with certified recyclers, you can be assured that the organization you choose is not only being responsible with their treatment of the environment, but they are also processing your data-containing devices in a secure manner.

There are three core certifications for the recycling industry, RIOS, R2, and e-Stewards.  The RIOS certification can apply to companies that recycle any commodity, while the R2and e-Stewards certifications are specific to the electronic waste industry. 

The description from the RIOS certification website is as follows:

RIOS (the Recycling Industry Operating Standard) is an integrated Quality, Environmental, Health and Safety Management System Certification that is designed for recycler, by recyclers. With RIOS™, recyclers are able to obtain certification without having to fit their system into a program designed for manufacturers.  By integrating the management system, recyclers are able to more effectively manage their system, which results in stronger health and safety programs, greater environmental responsibility, and better operational efficiency.

Recyclers of all commodities are able and encouraged to adopt RIOS™ at their facility. Whether recycling paper, plastic, metals, textiles, electronics or tires, RIOS™ has a place in the facility. Furthermore, RIOS™ can be adopted in any country in the world. RIOS™ is truly the global standard for recycling. RIOS is an ANSI accredited standard that includes all of the attributes and processes from ISO:9001 (Quality), ISO:14001(Environmental), and OHSAS:18001 (Safety).

The R2 certification is described as:

R2 owes its existence to a collaborative partnership between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.  Recognizing the need for comprehensive best-practices that addressed the operational and environmental challenges in electronics recycling and repair, the US Environmental Protection Agency convened a multi-stakeholder process to create a voluntary, market-based mechanism for ensuring best practices in electronics recycling.  

What emerged from that process was the “Responsible Recycling practices for Use in Accredited Certifications Programs” (R2) Standard.   The R2:2013 Standard is the latest version of R2, the electronics recycling industry's leading certification. Each provision of the R2 Standard is designed to help ensure the quality, transparency, and environmental and social responsibility, of R2 Certified electronics recycling facilities.

At its most basic level, the R2 Standard is a way to identify, aggregate, distribute, and monitor best-practices in electronics repair and recycling. The R2 Standard creates market incentives for recycling facilities to implement environmental, health, and safety procedures that directly benefit their workers, the communities in which they operate, and the environment. The R2 Standard helps facilities avoid "reinventing the wheel" by providing consistent knowledge and guidance for electronics repair and recycling that can be applied to any facility, anywhere.

There last certification we are discussing today is offered to recyclers, enterprises, and consumers. This recycling certification is called e-Stewards. According to the e-Stewards certification website, “e-Stewards certification is the highest e-waste recycling certification in the world. Grow your business, clientele, and community support by getting certified to the only standard that follows all international and local e-waste laws. Enterprises are asking for the best in their asset disposition. Answer them by being e-Stewards certified.”

When you are looking for a recycling company to take care of your electronic waste disposal needs, finding an organization that holds all or any of the recycling certifications discussed here will ensure you’ve made a good choice.  Earning and maintaining each of these certifications is no small task – if you are an electronics recycling company, you already know this to be true.  This is one reason using reVESTED as your business management software solution is an excellent choice.

The Vested Group’s electronics processing solution, reVESTED, is a complete business management system that addresses the complex requirements companies in the electronics refurbishing, recycling, and distributing industry face.  We understand your unique needs and business processes and have built an end to end solution on the NetSuite platform that is integrated with NetSuite's market leading cloud ERP system. Contact The Vested Group today to learn more about what reVESTED can do for you!

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