Effective March 1, 2012, certification to become an e-Stewards recycler will automatically qualify a recycler as R2 as well. Since the roll-out of the e-Stewards certification in 2010, detailed side-by-side comparisons have obfuscated the fundamental differences in the e-waste recycling standards. Hopefully this step will help clarify the situation. Now, when recyclers become e-Stewards recyclers, they can put a check next to R2 certified and focus on what they do that plain ole R2 recyclers do not. Here are the major differentiators:
1. First and foremost – No non-functioning equipment is ever exported. Got that? Never. R2 makes no such claim.
2. Secondly – No electronic waste is ever incinerated or sent to landfill. Ever. R2 is lousy with loopholes and R2 recyclers may send e-waste to landfill or incineration whenever they deem it “technically and economically” more feasible than, say, handling it appropriately. R2 allows unrestricted use of landfill and incineration of non-toxic materials.
3. Third – E-Stewards prohibits shredding of mercury-containing devices. R2 deems “items too small to be removed at a reasonable cost” appropriate for shredding. No matter how small the item, when you have a shipping container-full, that’s a lot of mercury contamination.
The list goes on. You can download Redemtech’s side-by-side comparison here. Suffice it to say that if you agree that shipping electronic waste to countries without environmental or work protection is fine by you, R2 will do. If you want to protect your brand, the environment, and workers handling toxic materials, find yourself an e-Stewards recycler and breathe easy.
Still have questions? Here is a quick Q&A.