New group to manage e-recycling standard

BOULDER – Sustainable Electronics Recycling International, a Boulder-based nonprofit, will succeed R2 Solutions, also based in Boulder, in developing and promoting the R2 standard for electronics recycling.

Under the agreement, R2 Solutions will cease operations, and its staff, the board of directors, the R2 Technical Advisory Committee, the R2 Standard and supporting documents and all other assets will be transferred to SERI.

“Current and future R2 recyclers can rest assured that nothing is changing for the R2 Standard,” said John Lingelbach, former executive director of R2 Solutions and current executive director of SERI, in a media statement. “The R2 Standard has been tremendously successful. More than 540 R2-certified facilities are now operating in 17 countries, but still many regions of the world are underserved or without access to responsible electronics recycling. The incredible growth of electronics use in the developing world necessitates that more be done. Both the R2 Standard as well as the new activities of SERI are critical to meeting this challenge.”

The R2 Standard was created in 2008 through a process that included many stakeholders including the federal Environmental Protection Agency, electronics manufacturers, recycling companies, nonprofit organizations and other groups. Electronics recycling and refurbishment facilities certified to the R2 Standard adhere to best practices in worker health and safety, environmental protection, chain-of-custody reporting, data security and other areas.

Besides managing the R2 Standard, SERI will sponsor and support electronics-recycling projects in developing countries, education and outreach campaigns on the need for responsible recycling and other activities.

“I am very pleased to be part of SERI and excited to embark on the many new activities to address critical e-scrap issues around the world,” said Oladele Osibanjo, a new SERI board member and executive director of the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the African Region. “Meeting the challenge of used electronics will require a variety of tools, strategies and active involvement in emerging-market countries.”

SERI also will run the new R2 Leader program, which is designed to support efforts by companies and organizations to advance the responsible reuse and recycling of used electronics, According to the media statement, the program was launched with a coalition of 10 partners including DirecTV, Goodwill Industries International, Greeneye Partners, Keep America Beautiful, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony America, SourceAmerica, Wistron Corp. and Xerox.

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