Trade-In Tech
by on June 14, 2022
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We often hear about the importance of recycling. However, when we usually think about the recycling industry, we imagine people turning in things like bottles and cans they bring from their homes. However, there's another type of recycling, and it has to do with electronic devices.

 

If you work or want to work in the electronics industry, it's good to have an understanding of electronics recyclers. Your business might also benefit from becoming a certified recycler itself! There's a lot of information to cover, but we'll make it fun.

 

Whether or not you're new to electronics recycling, you'll be an expert on this subject by the time you're finished reading this article.

 

What is Electronics Recycling?

 

 

When electronics are no longer useful, what should you do with them? If you’re like most people, you’d probably throw them in the trash. However, you can get much more value out of unwanted electronics by recycling them.

 

Recycling electronics prevents these items and the smaller components within them from wreaking havoc in landfills and the habitats of any nearby animals or humans. To prevent any electronics-related parts from damaging the earth, there are special ways of safely recycling these items.

 

The Formation of the SERI and ESA

 

When we're talking about recycling electronics, it's important to mention a very important nonprofit organization known as Sustainable Electronics Recycling International. To make things easier, we'll refer to this nonprofit as SERI going forward. So, what does SERI have to do with recycling electronics?

 

The SERI is actually the organization behind the Electronics Sustainability Alliance (ESA) (we're sorry for throwing so many abbreviations at you).

 

The ESA is how companies can join together to become electronics recyclers. Both the ESA and SERI have the main goal of completely eliminating e-waste throughout the entire electronics industry. If you want to become a responsible recycler, you’ll need to work with SERI.

 

What Are the Benefits of Responsible Recycling Practices?

 

 

Recycling electronic waste is likely more beneficial than you might think. Electronic waste recyclers do work that helps the planet, consumers, and people who resell electronics. Here's a look at a few major benefits of following responsible recycling practices.

 

Reducing Pollution

 

In most cases, what have you done with used electronics that you no longer want? If you're like most people, you would simply toss out any non-working cell phones, computers, televisions, or similar types of electronics. With that in mind, many people are unaware that unwanted electronics only start their journey after ending up in someone's trash bin.

 

Eventually, many of these electronics and the parts inside of them end up in landfills. Now, we're not environmental experts. But we can say that there is research showing that thrown-out electronics are responsible for about 70% of toxic waste in landfills. Whether your business decides to recycle electronics or partner with electronics recyclers, either option can help keep electronics out of landfills and reduce harm to the environment.

 

Having Access to More Electronic Materials

 

It's understandable to assume that any electronics up for disposal aren't working. Even when that's the case, there are often a lot of perfectly usable parts hiding inside of thrown-out electronics. With the right tools and equipment, a certified recycler can find and reuse parts or materials from electronics no one else wants.

 

For instance, the average computer that isn't working is often full of parts that recyclers can use in other systems and electronics. The same goes for recycled smartphones, laptops, and many other electronic devices. By obtaining your R2 certification, you can make sure that no valuable electronic components go to waste at the bottom of a pile in a trash-collecting facility.

 

Showing the World Your Business Stands for a Cause

 

Companies form all sorts of partnerships. For one, there is a partnership that takes place between a company and its customers. But that's far from where a company's partnerships end. There are also partnerships with downstream vendors, retailers, wholesalers, and many others. Considering all of that, one way to gain more partnerships or strengthen the ones your company has is by standing for a cause.

 

You probably don't need us telling you that there are many causes your company can stand for. One of these causes that can appeal to people and companies in your industry involves R2 recycling. When other businesses and people know you're a responsible recycler, they know that your business stands for a cause. That's something that can go a long way for your company.

 

Safely and Confidently Getting Rid of Private Data

 

With so many electronics throughout the world, these devices create a ton of data. As you might imagine, there's a lot of private data that people and companies don't want other people checking out. Fortunately, a business that knows how to properly recycle electronics can use its quality services to safely remove data from electronic devices. This focus on data security makes life easier for everyone.

 

How Can My Business Start Recycling Electronic Waste?

 

 

You've learned a lot about becoming a responsible recycler. But how do you go beyond learning about this subject and on to implementation? By checking out this information below. Here's how you can either obtain the R2 standard or become an e-steward.

 

Going Through the R2 Certification Process

 

If you want to become an R2 accredited business, you'll need to take care of a few things. Fortunately, we'll give you the complete rundown. The first thing you'll need to do is to let the R2 program know your business would like to join. To do this, you'll need to be an officially registered business.

 

How Long Does It Take to Become R2 Certified?

 

With that said, it will take a considerable amount of time to become officially certified. According to SERI, it takes an average business anywhere from 8-12 months to officially become certified.

 

While becoming certified also costs money, you'll likely be glad to know that there's a great collection of free resources from SERI that's called the R2 Knowledge Base.

 

Documenting Your Company's Processes

 

Understandably, SERI wants to make sure it knows how your company operates. Because of that, all R2 applicants must document all procedures and processes that take place at their respective companies.

 

It would be nice if that was the end of the process. However, SERI will also send out auditors to officially make sure your business is doing everything properly. These audits will take a look at things like your company's testing processes, how it destroys electronics, and other important regulations.

 

In addition, an auditor will also take a close look at your company's equipment. These checks are to make sure that your business follows all of SERI's R2 guidelines.

 

Paying Certification Fees

 

Before you can show business partners and customers that your business takes care of environmental concerns, it will need to pay to receive its official R2 certification.

 

Considering the fees required to receive your certification, this is the not-so-fun part of this process. However, there's no way around it. Your business will have to pay the following fees to receive its responsible recycling certification.

 

First, there's the base fee to obtain your R2/SERI License. As of this writing, this fee is $2,000 and must be paid annually. This means that you'll need to spend at least $2,000 per year to maintain an up-to-date R2 certification.

 

Don't get too excited just yet. There are some other fees you'll need to pay. First, there's the cost of the ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 standards, which cost about $150 each. So, that's a total of $300.

 

If the previously mentioned option is not for you, there's also the RIOS Standard. This standard combines the health, safety, environmental, and quality standards into a single certification. However, this standard is also a bit more costly than the first option. The RIOS Standard costs $1,250 per year.

 

Final Audits

 

One of your final steps along the path to R2 implementation is completing what's known as a Stage 2 Audit. As the name implies, this audit is a bit different from the initial one your business went through.

 

We know that having an auditor visit your company's address and look everything over isn't the most fun thing in the world. However, it's an essential part of the certification process.

 

Completing the Online License Application

 

By this point, you'll likely be glad to know that your company is almost done with the R2 certification process. At this point, with all audits complete, the only thing you'll have to do is fill out the official license application online.

 

Again, with all other steps knocked out, this portion of the certification process is basically filling in a few boxes with information your company already has. After that, wait a short period of time and you will have your company's official certification!

 

The e-Steward Program

 

We've spent a lot of time talking about the R2 standard and how it can help your company. However, it's also important to note that responsible recycling isn't the only way to properly recycle or dispose of electronics.

 

There's also a popular program that gives qualified applicants an e-Steward certification. The thought process that would lead to this type of recycling began with an organization called the Basel Action Network.

 

In 2003, this nonprofit network wanted a way to help prevent the damage caused by electronics that were improperly disposed of. Soon, the official e-Steward program would begin. The main goal of this program was to only have its members use responsible and safe ways to dispose of electronics.

 

Becoming e-Steward Certified

 

If you want to receive your e-Stewards certification, you'll want to visit this organization's website by going to e-stewards.org. Companies or recyclers interested in joining this program will need to directly contact e-Stewards.

 

After making contact and letting this organization know more about your business, it will determine whether or not you're ready to become certified. A representative from this organization can easily let you know what your company needs to do to become officially certified.

 

Scheduling Audits

 

As you can imagine from the earlier section, becoming an e-Steward also means going through a series of audits. To do this, you'll need to choose an auditor from this organization's list of third-party certification programs.

 

Paying Certification and Registration Fees

 

In addition, you'll also need to make sure that you pay the required fees to obtain your company's certifications. The e-Steward organization does its fees a little differently than the R2 program.

 

To become an e-Steward, you'll first need to speak with your program administrator about the fees required for the yearly marketing and licensing fees. Once you've completed all the steps, your business will be ready to start safely recycling all sorts of electronic devices.

 

Partnering With Companies in the Electronics Recycling Industry Online

 

 

If you want to start taking advantage of everything recycling used electronics has to offer, your business doesn't have to become R2 certified. We understand that not every company has the time and money to obtain new certifications. If that's the case, consider finding R2-certified companies to work with at the following online destinations.

 

Trade-In Tech

 

If you're interested in recycled electronics, you definitely need to become a member of Trade-In Tech. Unfamiliar with Trade-In Tech? That's okay! Trade-In Tech is a company that started in 2012. Now, our business has grown into an incredibly popular platform for just about anyone in the electronics industry.

 

Since this time, we've seen our platform grow to welcome members from all around the world. But, besides being a super popular platform, there are a ton of reasons to partner up with Trade-In Tech. So, let's not waste any time and get right into them!

 

Working With R2 Certified Companies

 

Chances are, you're here because you're interested in the R2 standard or partnering with a company that can recycle electronics. If so, you're in luck! Trade-In Tech has a ton of members, a decent percentage of which also specialize in the processing and recycling of electronics!

 

These aren't just companies that claim they can properly recycle electronic devices. Instead, these are companies with certifications and years of experience in the electronics recycling industry and the equipment to handle just about any job.

 

Since Trade-In Tech specializes in being a wholesale electronics platform, it's incredibly easy to find and contact these companies. After you're a member, you can instantly start connecting and interacting with qualified companies that know how to properly recycle electronics.

 

A Large Membership Network

 

Sometimes, you're not only looking for partnerships with companies that can grow your business. Yes, it's true that Trade-In Tech is a great platform that can help with that. But we also understand that sometimes you just want to learn from others who are doing what you want to do. And that's another thing you can find on Trade-In Tech.

 

Throughout the past decade, Trade-In Tech has become an incredibly popular platform for all sorts of companies in the electronics industry. Whether you're looking for recyclers, retailers, wholesalers, refurbishers, or just about any other profession within this industry, it's likely that you can find them on Trade-In Tech.

 

This makes Trade-In Tech a great platform for learning from other professionals. Since our platform operates like a social network, connecting and speaking with R2-certified professionals is a breeze.

 

Exclusive Tips and Training

 

There are so many things to learn in the electronics industry. If you want to learn more about recycling electronics and a wide range of other subjects, you can find it in the Trade-In Tech's members-only section. This section of our platform is full of helpful tips and strategies, no matter whether you're a pro in the world of electronics or you're just getting started.

 

In addition, Trade-In Tech also has exclusive video training from its CEO Hayden Howard. With over a decade of experience working in the electronics industry, Hayden has a ton of information that you'll find beneficial.

 

A Great Platform for Making Sales

 

Trade-In Tech aims to be a complete platform for companies in the electronics industry. That's why you'll be glad to know that Trade-In Tech is a great place to buy and sell all sorts of electronics devices. By buying and selling electronics on Trade-In Tech’s Marketplace, you have one less website to log in to and one less new account to create. We aim to make things as easy as possible for our members. Think of Trade-In Tech as a one-stop shop for your business.

 

No Transaction Fees

 

If you're interested in learning about the recycling of electronics, you might not yet be interested in buying or selling these items. However, the day could soon come when you need to sell your electronic devices to make money.

 

Considering that, you'll be glad to know that Trade-In Tech offers no transaction fees to all of its members. It doesn't matter what kinds of electronics you buy or sell on our platform. It also doesn't matter if you buy one electronic device or if you prefer to buy electronics in bulk. When you're a member of Trade-In Tech, we don't charge your business transaction fees.

 

24/7 Support

 

Two other important concerns on any platform are your safety and security. With that in mind, Trade-In Tech keeps our members protected around the clock with our 24/7 support. No matter when you have a question or concern, our support team will be available to help you out.

 

We hope you never run into any issues while you're using Trade-In Tech. But, in the rare event something happens, our support team will always be there for you.

 

Searching the Internet

 

Need another way to find recycling companies? If so, you can also use online search engines to find what you need. Before you begin your search, we recommend looking only for accredited and certified recycling companies.

 

For a company to officially adhere to the R2 standard, these companies need a proper certification. Obtaining an R2 certification isn't the easiest thing in the world. Unfortunately, this means that certain companies might claim to provide a service they're not allowed to offer. This type of company isn't a business you want to recycle your electronics!

 

It's also a good idea to look for companies offering services with positive reviews. Any recycling facility that provides quality work should be able to have at least one positive review. As it is with online reviews, it's a good sign if a recycling company has lots of reviews from happy clients.

 

If you have the time and energy, doing some due diligence by tracking down recycling companies online might yield a few potential partners. When you find a few that meet the previously mentioned criteria we mentioned earlier, feel free to contact them.

 

Finding an R2 Certified Company Locally

 

It's also possible to contact and work with companies with an R2 certification by looking locally. As it is with doing anything locally, your success rate in finding quality electronics recycling services comes down to location. If you live in an area with lots of companies, there's a decent chance that the address of a recycling service is near where you are.

 

You can start your search by going online and using the keywords electronics recyclers plus the name of the city you live in. If you can't find anything in your city, consider broadening your search to the closest large city. Eventually, you could find a few companies interested in getting involved with your business.

 

To wrap things up, R2 recycling is a great way to safely dispose of electronics without getting rid of perfectly good components. Whether you obtain a certification for your business or partner with professional recyclers, working with recycled electronics is a great way to help save the planet. If you want more information, tips, and guides about the electronics industry, visit Trade-In Tech's blog.

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