The saying “it takes a village” is very fitting when describing the electronics reuse-recycling industry. That’s because it takes a network of recyclers, refurbishers, and resellers to responsibly test, repair and recycle used electronics throughout the product lifecycle. Very few, if any, facilities have the capacity to fully recycle a device on their own without relying on a network of industry specialists. And very few, if any, facilities have the expertise to test and repair all types of electronic devices. Instead, they rely on partners in the network that have the specific expertise needed for specific product types. With the diversity of electronic products continuing to grow and the reuse-recycling industry becoming more specialized, the next evolution of the R2 Standard (expected to be released in early 2020) will provide a solution that better serves the evolving needs of the industry and it’s customers.
Customers using R2 Certified service providers can have confidence that from the moment their product enters the control of an R2 facility, and throughout the entire reuse-recycle chain, their electronics will be responsibly managed in accordance with the high bar set by the R2 Standard. The new R2v3 Standard will go a step further by providing more information about the specialized processes and areas of expertise for each facility. These areas of specialization will undergo additional scrutiny during the audit and be listed on the R2 Certificate. This will enable customers who want to exercise more control over where and how their electronics are processed to select R2 Certified facilities that have the expertise and capabilities necessary to meet their specific needs.
For example, an ITAD customer that is upgrading equipment could choose an R2 facility that is certified to Test and Repair to process their decommissioned equipment for resale as used electronics. Banks or medical providers may want to direct their equipment directly to an R2 facility that specializes in Data Sanitization (which goes beyond data security to include the wiping or destruction of data). And Extended Producer Responsibility Programs might be more interested in directing electronics to an R2 facility that specializes in Materials Recovery and is equipped to process the equipment onsite rather than sending it to another vendor in the recycling chain. Because customer needs vary depending on the type of equipment they have and where it is in the product lifecycle, this type of clarity and differentiation in facility capabilities has become increasingly important to customers.
Bottom Line: Regardless of the R2 Certified facility selected, customers will receive the same high standard of care, but with R2v3, customers will be able to better differentiate the specialized capabilities of R2 Facilities and more easily find the R2 Facility that will best meet their specific needs.