Info For Reuse Organizations
Does your organization want to help people reuse electronics?
Electronics reuse is a vital part of the new end-of-life electronic equipment program in B.C. This is because reuse can help to ensure that the useful life of electronics equipment is maximized, by allowing equipment that is no longer of use to one individual or organization to be used by another.
However, electronic products can contain various potentially hazardous materials and in some cases where reuse organizations are involved in dismantling, repairing and refurbishing this equipment, workers may be exposed to these hazards. Also, there may be additional risks to consumers if products are altered in any way from the manufacturer's original equipment specifications. And, as always, all end-of-life parts and equipment must be properly recycled to prevent any negative environmental impacts. So, while simple reuse of a product may have little environmental impact, if the product is dismantled, refurbished, or altered, reuse organizations need to provide adequate controls to ensure the safety of workers, consumers and the environment.
Handling, Processing and Refurbishing Electronics
Reuse organizations must educate themselves and their workers on the hazards associated handling electronic equipment and ensure that employees are properly equipped to handle them. To aid in this process, EPSC has produced the ERS Guidance Manual as an educational tool outlining some of the key issues associated with electronics processing. Additionally, end-of-life electronics processors that handle equipment collected through the ESABC program must also at a minimum meet the requirements of the Electronic Recycling Standard. Where appropriate, reuse organizations should also meet these minimum requirements.
Further, reuse organizations must employ adequate security measures to protect all equipment and information contained on the equipment from unintended use.
Of course, every part or piece of electronic equipment will eventually reach its end-of-life. As a result, reuse organizations must ensure that end-of-life equipment is properly recycled to prevent negative environmental impacts. Key questions to assist in determining if your organization is properly equipped to handle electronics:
- Is my organization aware of the potential hazards associated with handling, refurbishing and disposing of electronic equipment?
- What type of electronics is my organization capable of handling in a safe and environmentally sound manner?
- Has my organization educated and properly equipped employees to handle potentially hazardous substances?
- How does my organization ensure adequate consumer safety for products that are dismantled, modified or refurbished?
- Does my organization use an approved recycler(s) for the recyling of end-of-life parts and equipment?
- Does my organization employ adequate security measures to provide equipment and information security?
- Does my organization ensure the electronics are not illegally dumped or shipped off-shore?
For more information, see Electronics Product Stewardship Canada