The R2 is the leading certification in the electronics industry. These standards help track and control the disposal of electronic equipment, including the safety of workers who handle such materials. A company can achieve its R2 certification by implementing a system that ensures the entire recycling process follows health and safety guidelines and prevents e-waste from reaching landfills. For consumers looking to recycle their devices, finding a responsible organization with R2 certification is crucial.
Why is this important?
Over the last decade, the sheer volume of discarded electronic devices — or e-waste — has contributed to the rapid growth of landfills across Canada. These electronic devices often contain hazardous materials and batteries that can harm workers, animals, and the environment itself. Organizations that achieve R2 certification must prove that their recycling processes uphold both the environmental and health and safety standards necessary to positively contribute to the economy and the environment. By recycling your devices with an R2 certified organization, you can ensure that your devices are being disposed of in a sustainable manner.
How does a recycler get certified?
The certification process requires an organization — a recycling plant, refurbishment company, or reseller — to clearly outline their recycling process to ensure each step is responsible and sustainable. The goal is to salvage as much material from recycled end-of-life products as possible and then to recycle what cannot be salvaged. However, the process must be sustainable, safe, and have a positive impact on the economy and the environment. This includes protecting workers from hazardous materials, tracking devices, and ensuring total data destruction before recycling or refurbishment. Organizations must be judged by a third-party certification entity to achieve their R2, which is valid for three years.
Why certification should you look for?
When researching recycling centres, it is important to ensure they are properly certified and are recycling products in a sustainable way. In Canada, there are a variety of economic and environmental standards in the electronics industry. Beyond the R2 certification, here are several other environmental and health and safety standards you should look for:
- ISO 14001: Environmental management
The ISO 1400 series dictates an environmental management system that virtually every company — regardless of size and industry — can incorporate to ensure they are effectively managing the environmental impact of their work
- OHSAS 18001: Occupational health & safety
A standard in every industry, it is important to ensure that recycling centres follow the health and safety codes created to protect their staff from unsafe working conditions.
- RQO: Electronics Recycling Standard (ERS)
The standard for recycling centres across Canada, the ERS ensures the proper recycling and disposal of all end-of-life electronics in the country. This standard ensures that as many parts of these devices are harvested and salvaged, minimizing the energy consumption necessary to source and build new hardware.
- RQO: Electronics Reuse & Refurbishment Program (ERRP)
For products that are in exceptional condition and still function, recycling may not be necessary. The ERRP outlines the process of successfully refurbishing devices for reuse and resale. Not only can companies continue to use refurbished devices to extend the product lifespan, but they can also donate them or sell them and minimize the production of new devices.
At eCycle Solutions, not only are we focused on preventing electronic waste from reaching Canada’s landfills, but we also aim to develop sustainable recycling practices in other organizations across the country. Our partnerships with corporations and other businesses help refurbish thousands of devices each year — all of which can be donated or resold. We follow all of the standards outlined above, and our team is dedicated to the sustainable and responsible disposal of electronics.
We also offer our customers — whether you are a large corporation or an individual consumer — comprehensive data wiping and data destruction services. In this way, we can guarantee that your personal data and confidential information is backed-up, safe, and secure, even after your device is recycled or refurbished.