How much e-waste does the U.S. government generate? According to General Services Administration (GSA) head Martha Johnson, “By some estimates, the federal government goes through 10,000 computers a week.”
And that’s not the only staggering statistic in this Washington Post/Bloomberg article that examines the steps the GSA and EPA are taking to combat e-waste and boost a U.S. recycling industry that currently employs 30,000 workers and generates $5 billion in revenue each year. This entails the adoption of a third party certification standard that would dictate how the federal government recycles its IT equipment — paving the way for industry at large to follow suit.
The two front runners are E-Stewards (notable for banning the export of e-waste to developing regions) and the business-friendlier Responsible Recycling or R2 certs. For now, be sure to keep an eye on this fight as it could very well end up influencing your business’ IT procurement and recycling policies.
Update: Below you’ll find links to more info on the certs mentioned in this post.
Image courtesy of Ulises Jorge, Flickr – CC