R2 Certification for Electronic Media Recycling

The R2 standard for the recycling and reuse of hardware and electronic media has been approved by ANSI, and is recognized by the EPA as a way to certify that electronics are securely disposed of.


The R2 Code of Practices is available here. Here's a brief rundown of its core principles:


  1. A facility processing electronics for reuse and recycling must have its activities audited in order to achieve R2 certification.

  2. Reuse is prioritized, with recycling of materials from electronics following second.

  3. A Environmental, Health, and Safety Management System must put in place to avoid exposure to mercury, lead, beryllium, cadmium, PCBs, phosphor compounds, flame retardants, silica dust, and hexavalent chromium, as well as maintaining other precautions to avoid damage to workers health or the environment.

  4. Develop a plan to comply with all applicable laws, and notify the R2 certification body within 30 days of receiving notice of a violation by a regulatory body.

  5. Track throughput of electronics equipment, components, and materials, and not retain materials with a negative value for longer than a year.

  6. Categorize all equipment, components, and materials that are processed.

  7. Sanitize all data storage devices by methods specific to the type of storage as indicated in this table:

8. Certain focus materials, including Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, cathode ray tube glass, batteries, and circuit boards must be processed with special care to avoid harm to the environment or the health of workers.

9. Possess insurance to cover liabilities associated with the processing, and have financial resources to properly shut down operations.

10. Transport all electronic equipment, components and materials in a secure and safe manner.