Electronic Waste Management

 

 

 

The rapid increase in demand for electronics has inevitably lead to increased scrutiny of the environmental and social impacts, and data security risks arising from product design, manufacture, and end of life disposal.

On the global stage, standards such as the 1680 series of standards which provide environmental performance criteria for the design of personal computer products (1680.1), imaging equipment products (1680.2), and Televisions (1680.3), are becoming increasingly important for manufacturers  of electronic equipment seeking to demonstrate their corporate responsibility.

Not surprisingly, original equipment manufacturers and consumers are also looking to independent certification / verification programs to ensure that their discarded electronics are managed responsibly.  Standards such as WEEELABEX (Europe), the e-Stewards® (USA based), R2 (USA based), the Recycler Qualification Program for End-Of-Life Electronics Recycling (Canada), and the draft AS/NZ Collection, Storage, Transport and Treatment of Used Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Australia), have all been established to address (to varying degrees) customer concerns such as data security, export of toxic waste to developing countries, and poor health and safety practices are leading customers to demand responsible management.    These standards are filling a need in the industry to have independent verification to assure that this highly toxic waste stream is managed responsibly.