The R2 Standard is sometimes thought of as an “end-of-life” recycling standard. While that is certainly an aspect of the Standard, “responsible reuse” is at the foundation of the R2 Standard. In fact, Provision 2 of the Standard prioritizes reuse of electronics before recycling as a sustainable way of managing the growing volume of used electronics. Extending the lifecycle of electronic products through responsible reuse provides many benefits – from preserving natural resources by reducing the demand to manufacture new products, to providing refurbished electronics to users that may not otherwise have access to affordable technology. And when reuse of whole electronic devices is no longer feasible for reasons such as age or condition of the equipment, the R2 Standard promotes reuse of parts and components as the next best option.
But critical to reuse is ensuring that all electronic devices are properly sanitized of data and tested and repaired to ensure that only functioning devices are reused. Provision 6 of the R2 Standard addresses these important factors by requiring that equipment sold for reuse is functional and free of data.
Some key aspects of Provision 6 include:
Data sanitization - The R2 Facility is responsible for ensuring that all devices are properly sanitized of all user data.
Test and repair - The R2 Facility must ensure that it fully tests the key functions of all items destined for reuse.
Quality Assurance – The R2 Facility must verify whether testing and repairs were performed properly and maintain accurate records to demonstrate the functionality of all equipment.
R2 Reuse category – Following test and repair operations, the R2 Facility must properly identify the functionality category of reusable equipment as described in Provision 6 and communicate that functionality to the buyer through applicable shipping and/or sales records. This provides transparency to the buyer about the test results and the condition of the equipment, including any cosmetic defects of the unit.
While Provision 2 requires all R2 facilities to identify potentially reusable products, not all facilities will have the expertise to perform testing and repair activities. In cases where an R2 Facility does not have the capability to fully test or sanitize a potentially reusable device, a properly vetted and qualified refurbisher should be used to process the equipment in accordance with R2 requirements. This is to ensure that all activities related to reuse, including test, repair and data sanitization, are performed in a planned, and high-quality manner that ensures functional electronics are prepared for reuse, while non-functional equipment is responsibly recycled.