Why is R2 Important?
In our ever evolving world of technology there is a dark place that is far from "Green". It is a place where the industry throws tech trash away. This particularly sorrowful place is a wetland turned wasteland on the outskirts of Ghana and is described by Jim Puckett in his Essay “A Place Called Away”. In 2010 the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) estimated that on an annual basis over 1 Billion pounds of e-waste is produced globally. Of that amount 7,200 (US) tons finds its way to the Port of Tema in Ghana.
To change this horrific, devastating, and socially irresponsible practice of global dumping and exploitation, action has been taken by organizations such as the United Nations, the Basal Action Network (BAN), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Electronics Takeback Coalition, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling (ISRI).
As with all political organizations there are varying points of view on how best to solve the problem.
How Do We Take More Action?
The obvious question glaring us all in the eyes is "How do we take action to manage global dumping"?
The solutions include:
- Domestic and International - Import/Export Laws.
- Environmental Oversight Agencies –NGO’s, EPA, UNEP, State Laws.
- Standardization of the best Recycling Practices (R2 and E-Stewards).
Just as spring brings renewal to the earth, the language of "I speak R2" brings a renewed and refreshed application of Teltech’s quality, environment, health, and safety management system.
I Speak R2.
What is the language, or Best Practices, of R2?
R2 is a Standard for Responsible Recycling that focuses on the performance of electronic recyclers. It sets forth requirements relating to environmental, health, and safety aspects of electronics recycling.
- Utilizes a hierarchy of reduce, re-use, and dispose so we can significantly decrease the amount of waste added to landfills each and every day.
- Encompasses the environmental aspects: air, water, earth.
- Focus on health & safety of workers and the public health.
What Are Focus Materials?
Focus materials are materials in end -of-life electronic equipment that warrant greater care during recycling, refurbishing and materials recovery.
Materials must be managed with with safeguards to eliminate the potential to adversely effect worker health and safety, public health, or the environment.
Items containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), items containing mercury, CRTs and CRT glass, batteries, and whole and shredded circuit boards (except for whole and shredded circuit boards that do not contain lead solder, and have undergone safe and effective mechanical processing, or manual dismantling, to remove mercury and batteries).
Environmental and Public Health Responsibilities adhere to the following guidelines:
- Recyclers are required to assure that more toxic materials streams are managed safely and responsibly.
- Downstream vendor management – must track final disposition of shipments.
- Export must be legal. Prohibits export of toxic materials to countries that have laws making their import illegal. Non-OECD countries (not economically developed).
- Everyone within the companies has their own important role in Teltech and Genesis Green’s environmental responsibility.
Our Commitment to The Environment
We are committed to understanding our role(s) in the overall R2 process, and ensuring that every worker is aware of the hazards, necessary protective equipment, and always following the rules of safety first. This includes:
- Utilize best practices that are protective of worker health & safety, the public, and the environment.
- Focus materials training – identification and awareness of special care needed for handling electronics.
- Regulatory compliance – local, state, and federal.
Our Commitment to Quality
What is our role in bringing Quality to our work environment?
- Meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
- Continual improvement of processes.
- Bringing quality to the work we do.
Making a Difference
While the quality environmental health and safety management system is comprised of standards, we at Teltech and Genesis Green have a standard, which is to do the right thing, even when no one is watching...
Keep It Green!