HOUSTON, May 25, 2011 /PR Newswire/ -- WM Recycle America, L.L.C., a subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM), the largest waste services and residential recycling company in North America, today announced that all eight of its eCycling Services Division's North American eCycling facilities have earned the designation- R2/RIOS Certified Electronics Recycler®—for quality, environment, health and safety and data security during the electronics recycling process. WM Recycle America operates more R2/RIOS-certified eCycling facilities than any other company in the US, further strengthening its position as the leader in recycling services.
R2/RIOS is the combination of two stringent accredited standards: the Responsible Recycling Practices (R2) and the Recycling Industry Operating Standard® (RIOS®). The result is an exacting standard for responsible electronics reuse and recycling and recognition in the market via R2/RIOS certification as a Certified Electronics Recycler®.
Older electronics may contain potentially harmful materials such as lead, mercury and cadmium, but also contain valuable materials that can be reclaimed for use in new devices. To ensure proper handling of this e-waste, these programs require participating companies to implement an environmental, health, and safety management system that tracks materials and minimizes emissions and worker exposure during electronics recycling operations. Certified recyclers must also obtain documentation from foreign governments prior to shipping certain materials abroad. Companies must exercise due diligence to ensure safe and accountable handling of e-waste throughout the recycling chain, both domestic and international.
'Whether it's old TV sets, cell phones or computer equipment, electronic waste needs to be properly processed and recycled and consumers, retailers and manufacturers need to be assured their discarded electronics are handled safely and responsibly,' said Patrick DeRueda, president of WM Recycle America. 'By operating R2/RIOS-certified eCycling facilities we are able to provide our customers with environmentally conscientious recycling services.'
'The electronics recycling industry has many leaders and companies that are making a strong commitment to improve their quality, to protect the environment and to provide a safe and healthy workplace. WM Recycle America, with the highest number of facilities of any company earning R2/RIOS® certification to date, has made this commitment. We are very proud to have them as the newest member of our Certified Electronics Recycler® team,' Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. President Robin Wiener said.
Electronics recycling is a fast-growing industry that creates high-paying, green jobs and boosts the U.S. and global economy. According to the 2011 Electronics Recycling Industry Survey®, the US electronics recycling industry continues to show tremendous growth and strong domestic capacity. The $5- billion-a-year industry, which employs more than 30,000 full-time workers in the U.S., collected and processed over 3.5 million tons of used and end-of-life electronics equipment in 2010, up from 1.8 million tons in 2009.
'Electronic waste is the fastest growing commodity in the waste stream and Waste Management is committed to maximizing the value of electronic waste as well as the other materials it manages,' added DeRueda.
WM Recycle America's adoption of the R2/RIOS standards is a continuation of the company's dedication to stringent e-waste processing standards. In 2002, the company developed and published its own electronics-recycling stewardship pledge to protect workers and the environment.
To encourage consumers to dispose of electronic devices in an environmentally sound manner, in 2007 WM Recycle America established a nation-wide network of drop-off locations and has joined forces with LG Electronics USA and other manufacturers on comprehensive programs for consumers to recycle their old LG, Zenith and GoldStar branded devices at no cost. Joining the R2/RIOS programs supports Waste Management's ongoing sustainability program, particularly to meet its target of recycling 20 million tons of recyclables by 2020.
RIOS® is a standard for integrated quality, environmental, and health & safety (QEH&S) management systems developed specifically for the recycling industry. RIOS® was developed by ISRI, including electronics recycling. R2 is a recycling standard specifically targeting electronics recycling. R2 was developed and supported by stakeholders including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), major computer OEMs such as Lenovo and Dell, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), state and local governments and ISRI. R2 includes general principles and specific practices for recyclers disassembling or reclaiming used electronics equipment, and its strict 'Reuse, Recovery, Dispose' hierarchy of methods ensures that electronic scrap is properly handled.
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also the largest residential recycler and a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill-gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company's customers include residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.
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