National Level E-Waste Strategy Launched

If you’ve been following the saga of e-waste on EarthTechling, you know that the recycling of electronics in places like China is fraught with threats to human and environmental health. And while the state of California has taken the lead in recent years with legislation designed to increase responsible e-waste recycling rates, the country has lacked a comprehensive e-waste recycling strategy at the national level — until now, as per a recent release from the Obama administration.

At a recent event an electronics recycling facility in Austin, Tex., Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, General Services Administrator Martha N. Johnson and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley were joined by the CEOs of Dell and Sprint, as well as senior executives from Sony Electronics, to announce the President’s “National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship.”  This strategy calls for voluntary commitments by major players in the electronics industry as well as mandatory commitments from the federal government.

E-Waste

image via Shutterstock

This strategy addresses responsible electronic design, purchasing, management and recycling, and is designed to promote the growing market for electronics recycling and the green collar jobs at home.

According to the release, the federal government will now promote the development of more efficient and sustainable electronic products; direct federal agencies to buy, use, reuse and recycle their electronics responsibly; support recycling options and systems for Americans; and strengthen America’s role in the international electronics stewardship arena.

As a result, the General Services Administration will now be required to remove inefficient/toxic electronics from its buying list, and work with certified electronics recyclers to responsibly dispose of all outdated or defunct federal electronics.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.