GSA plans to issue regulations banning disposal of electronic waste in landfills. As a step toward the requirement, GSA told agencies in a governmentwide bulletin last week they should not throw out old electronic equipment but instead recycle or find a way to reuse it.
Federal agencies will have to do their best to reuse the electronics first — by selling or donating those products to schools or local governments — before recycling. When reuse is not an option, federal agencies are directed to send electronics to certified recyclers, third-party certified e-waste recyclers—under R2 or eStewards— creating more opportunities for the e-waste industry.
"The federal government as a whole is the nation’s largest consumer of electronics, and through this policy it will now be a more responsible user of electronics," said Administrator Martha Johnson. "We are ensuring that electronics from federal agencies will be reused or sent to certified e-waste recycling plants. These steps are protecting human health and the environment, while supporting jobs."
Supporting domestic jobs is the premise for two bills in Congress that would ban the export of e-waste to other countries. California also has their own e-waste export bill with AB 960 by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal. The measure will help reduce the amount of e-waste exported overseas from California by mandating that recyclers reform their exporting practices in order to receive payments.
photo credit: John Clines/istockphoto.com
Learn more about CAW’s efforts to support e-waste recycling. Please support our work on e-waste and make a tax-deductible donation today.