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National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship

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Citation Edit

Interagency Task Force on Electronic Stewardship, National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship (July 20, 2011) (full-text).

Overview Edit

This report provides four overarching goals, the action items under each goal, and the projects that will implement each action item. These recommendations are summarized below.

Build Incentives for Design of Greener Electronics, and Enhance Science, Research and Technology Development in the United States

  • Establish multi-stakeholder groups to address key research questions and design challenges, and accelerate development of and investment in green electronics design standards.
  • Promote consumer purchasing of green electronics that are certified as meeting stringent environmental performance criteria that address environmental impacts across the entire lifecycle of the products.
  • Promote scientific research and technological developments that improve our ability to recover and market valuable materials from used electronics, especially precious metals and rare earth elements
  • Launch electronics stewardship prize competitions to stimulate innovations in green product design, recycling solutions, and other phases of the electronics lifecycle.
  • Ensure expansion of quality green electronics certification programs, including EPEAT to consider environmental impacts across entire product lifecycles and to cover additional types of electronics.

Ensure that the Federal Government Leads By Example

  • Establish a comprehensive and transparent government-wide policy on used Federal electronics that maximizes reuse, clears data and information stored on used equipment,
  • Encourage electronics manufacturers to expand their product take-back programs, and use certified recyclers as a minimum standard in those programs, by expanding the use of manufacturer take-back agreements in Federal electronics purchase, rental and service contracts.
  • Require and enable recipients of former Federal equipment that has been sold, transferred, or donated for reuse to use certified recyclers and follow other environmentally sound practices to the greatest extent possible.
  • Improve tracking of used Federal electronics throughout the lifecycle and post comprehensive data sets on and other publicly accessible websites.
  • More effectively direct Federal Government spending on electronics toward green products through procurement changes.
  • Expand the use of the intergovernmental cooperative agreements between the U.S. Postal Service and other federal agencies to make it more convenient, efficient, and cost effective for government agencies with remote offices to directly ship used electronics to original equipment manufacturers, certified recyclers, or entities that will reuse the equipment.
  • Identify, characterize, and document markets, as well as market and financial assistance opportunities, associated with managing and recycling used electronics.

Increase Safe and Effective Management and Handling of Used Electronics in the United States

  • Launch voluntary partnerships with the electronics industry.
  • Provide guidance to electronics recycling employers on providing facilities that offer safe and healthy working environments.
  • Establish approaches to gather, track, and provide public access to information on quantities and movement of used electronics within the United States.

Reduce Harm from US Exports of E-Waste and Improve Safe Handling of Used Electronics in Developing Countries

  • Improve information on trade flows and handling of used electronics, and share data with Federal and international agencies, within the limits of existing legal authorities.
  • Provide technical assistance and establish partnerships with developing countries to better manage used electronics.
  • Work with exporters to explore how to incentivize and promote the safe handling of remanufactured, recycled, and used electronics at home and abroad.
  • Propose regulatory changes to improve compliance with the existing regulation that governs the export of cathode ray tubes from used computer monitors and televisions that are destined for reuse and recycling.
  • Support ratification of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

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