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 Canada. 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 equipment 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 with handling electronic equipment and ensure that employees are properly equipped to handle them. 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 recycling of end-of-life parts and equipment?
Does my organization employ adequate security measures to provide equipment and information security?
Does my organization ensure that the electronics are not illegally dumped or shipped off-shore?
EPRA-Approved Reuser Program
If you are interested in becoming an EPRA approved reuser, EPRA has set up a program to qualify reusers and ensure that proper procedures are followed and standards are met. For more details on this program please refer to the Electronics Reuse & Refurbishing Program (ERRP) section: http://www.rqp.ca/