Last year, global sales of consumer electronics totaled over $1 trillion and according to Gartner, worldwide phone sales of consumer electronics totaled 435 million units just in the second quarter. There is no question that technology is being purchased and relied on more than ever, but with the average device only lasting 1-3 years before being replaced, these electronics have now also become the fastest growing waste stream.
In 2008, CBS released a documentary on 60 minutes disclosing where some of America’s e-waste was really ending up. This segment took an inside look at a recycling center in China – without proper disposal methods or environmental, health and safety standards – where the air, water and soil has been contaminated with toxic elements that are found in electronic waste. This pollution has caused Guiyu, China to have the highest levels of cancer-causing dioxins. Proof of this toxicity has been found through studies which determined that pregnancies in this area are six times more likely to end in miscarriage and seven out of ten kids are found to have too much lead in their blood.
As the dramatic environmental effects became known, an accredited third party certification program was introduced to identify recyclers that will not export their toxic e-waste to developing countries, dump it in local landfills or use labor in prisons. This industry certification is known as the e-Stewards certification which was created by the Basel Action Network (BAN).
The e-Stewards standard is endorsed by more than 70 environmental groups, as well as more than 70 major enterprise companies and cities. Customers using a certified e-Stewards recycler can be confident throughout the entire process that this group of recyclers provides complete data destruction, upholds environmental and social responsibility, and is aware of all relevant laws to ensure responsible recycling.
“If a company wishes to be called a leader, then it must indeed lead,” said BAN Founder, Jim Puckett. “Sims Recycling Solutions has proven itself to be a company at the forefront of corporate responsibility, often taking unpopular and costly positions to prevent global e-waste pollution.”
Sims Recycling Solutions, the global leader in electronics reuse and recycling recently achieved the e-Stewards certification at 12 of their U.S. and Canadian locations, further assuring customers that their material is being handled securely and responsibly.
“The e-Stewards certification is the standard most responsible enterprises refer to when selecting a recycler,” stated Steve Skurnac, president of Sims Recycling Solutions. “Among our extensive profile of health, safety and environmental management certifications, the e-Stewards certification will further provide our customers with the assurance that we are handling our material with integrity and accountability.”
Sims Recycling Solutions works closely with recognized industry association to ensure business operations follow and exceed established industry standards. Sims strives to continuously improve its health, safety, quality and environmental practices. Each facility has full-time managers who oversee internationally recognized corporate safety programs. Additional certifications maintained by Sims include Responsible Recycling (R2), ISO 9001 and 14001, OHSAS 18001 and Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).