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EPA-Related Programs

Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Exit EPA is a tool designed to help institutional purchasers in the public and private sectors evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, laptops and monitors based on their environmental attributes with qualified product designations of bronze, silver, or gold.

Design for the Environment Program works with electronics manufacturers to incorporate environmental considerations into product design.

Energy Star promotes energy-efficient products through its labeling and education program.

Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge promotes responsible electronics recycling by original equipment manufacturers and retailers, who commit to increasing the number of electronics they collect, and to send 100 percent of their used electronics to recognized third-party certified recyclers.

WasteWise Program challenges its partners to set goals for reducing electronics and other wastes.

Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC) Exit EPA is a partnership program that encourages federal facilities and agencies to: purchase greener electronic products; reduce impacts of electronic products during use; and manage obsolete electronics in an environmentally responsible manner.

E-Waste Guides/Good Management Practices

Certification Programs for Electronics Recyclers
This page provides information about certification programs for electronics recyclers. It encourages electronics recyclers to become certified by demonstrating to an accredited, independent third-party auditor that they meet specific standards to safely recycle and manage electronics. It also tells how to find a certified recycler.

Checklist for the Selection of an Electronics Recycler (PDF) (5 pp, 112K) Exit EPA
This checklist, aimed primarily at Federal agencies, provides a list of questions for the selection of electronic recycling vendors and services. Additional resources and references are included.

Guidance Manual on the Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of Wastes (PDF) (69 pp, 3.7MB) Exit EPA
Developed by the OECD, this manual provides guidance to countries on implementing Environmentally Sound Management f Waste as outlined in OECD recommendations. Each OECD recommendation is discussed, as well as a detailed overview of ESM of waste.

Design for the Environment Report (PDF) (16 pp, 1.2MB) Exit EPA
Electronics Product Stewardship Canada developed this document to educate and inform about the environmental, legal, health and safety hazards associated with recycling end-of-life electronics.

Secret Life of a Smart Phone
Geared towards 6th to 8th graders, this educational poster shows the life cycle of a cell phone from obtaining raw materials through manufacture, packaging, distribution, useful life, and disposal. It explains the importance of life cycle management and encourages reuse and recycling. The poster also contains games and activities. Available in both English and Spanish.

Electronics: A New Opportunity for Waste Prevention, Reuse, and Recycling (PDF) (4 pp, 987K)
This fact sheet provides an overview of electronics waste prevention, reuse, and recycling.

Tools for Environmentally Sound Management (PDF) (124 pp, 1.7MB) | en Español (PDF) (124 pp, 1.6MB)
The Bureau of International Recycling’s guide, intended for its members and customers of its members, is a collection of tools for an ISO compliant Environmental Management System that includes OECD Core Performance Elements for the world’s recycling industries.

Ontario’s Electronics Stewardship Plans
The Ontario Electronic Stewardship developed this preliminary plan for a Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment Program in Ontario, Canada. The plan includes an overview of the system, recycling and reuse standards, promotion and education, research and development, and compliance and enforcement activities.

Facts about E-Waste

FAQs on E-waste
This list of frequently asked questions provides answers to common questions about e-waste management, such as how much e-waste is in the waste stream and what are the benefits of electronics recycling.

Management of E-Waste in the US (PDF) (12 pp, 219K)
EPA developed this fact sheet on e-waste, which looks at the full cycle of the issue from purchase to end-of-life options.

Technical Resources

Technical Guidance for the EMS of Specific Waste Streams: Used and Scrap PCs Exit EPA
This paper provides specific guidance for environmentally sound reuse and recovery of used personal computers in context with the overall OECD program for environmentally sound management of waste.

Profile of the Electronics and Computer Industry – ECHO Exit EPA
ECHO enables users to analyze data by industry sector which can be queried using SIC and NAICS codes.

Looking Upstream

Green Electronics Council Exit EPA
Host of the EPEAT standard for laptops, desktops, and monitors, the Green Electronics Council Web site describes the nonprofit organization’s mission, goals and programs for managing the life cycle of electronic products.

Design for the Environment Flame Retardants in Printed Circuit Boards Partnership
This partnership provides information on the environmental and human health impacts of new and current materials that can be used to meet the fire safety requirements for circuit boards.

Design for the Environment Lead Free Solder Partnership
To address the information gap and evaluate the environmental impacts of leaded and lead-free solders, EPA established this voluntary partnership with representatives of the electronics industry and other interested parties.

E-Waste Websites and Organizations

E-Cycling Central Exit EPA
This website from the Electronic Industry Alliance allows you to search for electronic recycling programs in your state.

Electronics Industries Alliance (EIA) Consumer Education Initiative Exit EPA
Provides consumers with information on reuse and recycling opportunities for used electronics.

E-Waste Guide Exit EPA
This Switzerland-based website is dedicated to improving the e-waste situation in developing and transitioning countries. The site contains news, events, case studies, and more.

National Center for Electronics Recycling Exit EPA
The National Center for Electronics Recycling’s website features basic information on ecycling, local electronics recycling locations, legislation, projects, news, and links to studies, reports and other materials on e-waste.

StEP: Solving the E-Waste Problem Exit EPA
This website of StEP, an initiative founded by various UN organizations to develop strategies to solve the e-waste problem, follows its activities and programs.

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International Efforts

Environmentally Sound Management of Electronics and Electronic Waste in Asia Pacific (PDF) (6 pp, 460K) Exit EPA
The Basel Convention developed a pilot program to address the urgent need for environmentally sound management of electrical and electronic waste in the Asia Pacific region. This brochure introduces the program’s goals, objectives, plans of action, and progress to date.

Meeting the Challenge of E-Waste (PDF) (2 pp, 504K) Exit EPA
This brochure explains the challenge of e-waste and what the Basel Convention is doing on a global and regional level to address e-waste.

Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PDF) (2 pp, 733K) Exit EPA
This fact sheet describes the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment, including its benefits to participants, goals and scope.

Various Basel Convention Documents and Guidelines Exit EPA
This website contains various documents and guidelines (many translated into Spanish) created by the Basel Convention for the environmentally sound management of waste. Many of the technical guidelines are available in other languages, including Spanish.

Conferences and Events

2007 US-Mexico Electronic Waste & Spent Lead Acid Batteries Capacity Building Workshop
More than 300 attendees gathered in Tijuana, Mexico in December 2007, to discuss best practices for the environmentally sound management of spent lead acid batteries and e-waste in the US-Mexico border area. EPA’s US-Mexico Border 2012 Program and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation co-hosted the three-day workshop, which attracted environmental leaders from the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Sustainable Materials Management(SMM) Electronics Reuse and Recycling Forum
EPA hosted the 2014 Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Reuse and Recycling Forum on September 23-24, 2014. The Forum was held to harness the collective power of the electronics community and identify shared priorities that will advance domestic end-of-life electronics management. More than forty participants took part in this interactive discussion to identify strengths and issues and brainstorm areas of focus to address the challenges of Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) stockpiling and end-of-life electronics management.

Participants of the forum represented a cross-section of the electronics community, including:

Bar graph image of number of participants of the Electronics Forum

EPA prepared a summary of the discussion at the Forum (PDF) (28 pp, 1.74 MB) as well as a compilation of suggestions received during the Forum regarding the current understanding of the CRT landscape by the electronics recycling community (PDF) (1 pg, 427 KB). EPA also hosted a follow-up discussion as part of the 2014 E-Scrap Conference and prepared a summary of the information discussed (PDF) (6 pp, 635 KB) at that conference.


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