ISRI to Offer Educational Opportunities at International Computer Refurbisher Summit 2013 (ICRS)

ISRI will again be sponsoring a short course as well as a session at this year’s ICRS to be held November 11-13, in New Orleans. Following is a preliminary outline of the ISRI program:

Benefits of R2/RIOS for Refurbishers
Course Description: This course will focus on the importance and value of certification to refurbishers. It will also present the revisions and updates to both the R2 and RIOS standards and what they mean to both those who have not yet obtained certification as well as those who will be transitioning their certification to the revised standards. R2:2013 now requires a certified EHS management system and RIOS continues to provide an integrated solution. Also included is the importance of managing your downstream – as well as perspectives from certified refurbishers.

Course Moderator: Rike Sandlin – HiTech Assets

Course Outline:

  • What’s new in R2?
    Instructor: Corey DehmeyAERC Recycling Solutions
  • RIOS – As the R2 certified EHS Management System
    Instructor: Rike Sandlin – HiTech Assets
  • Downstream Due Diligence
    Instructor: Bob McCarthy – Green Eye Partners
  • Managing Focus Materials
    Instructor: Jeanne Shackelford – JT Environmental Consulting
  • Certified Refurbishers Panel
    • Nancy Jo Craig – Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council (CACRC)
    • Pat Furr –  Computers for Classroom
    • Willie Cade – PC Rebuilders & Recyclers/PCRR
    • Q & A – Panel of instructors

ITAD Services and How to Make Sure You Don’t Lose Money
Description: This session will address the business opportunities in value-added services in the life cycle management of electronics equipment and how to market them – with a focus on data security, asset management, and logistics.

  • Recycling Services Opportunities – Dag Adamson (LifeSpan Technology Recycling)
  • Business & Marketing Challenges – Craig Boswell (HOBI International)

For more information about the conference, including registration, go to the website.

New Pricing Structure Announced for the Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS™)

Recycling facilities, including non-profit organizations, are now able to become Recycling Industry Operating Standard™ (RIOS™) members at a reduced cost under a more streamlined price model.

For the first time, RIOS™ membership will now be available for a flat annual fee. Beginning immediately, all facilities are eligible for this new cost structure. These changes are permanent and reflect an ongoing effort to improve industry-wide recycling practices through responsible recycling certification.

RIOS™ certification is a globally accepted quality, environmental, health and safety (QEH&S) management system designed for and by recyclers. As the premiere certification for all scrap recyclers, RIOS™ provides assurance that a facility’s operations meet the highest standards in the industry. Additionally, RIOS™ meets the requirement in the R2:2013 Standard for an approved EH&S management system.

“With the changes to the R2 Standard, this is an ideal time for facilities to enroll in the RIOS™ program to comply with R2:2013 provision,” said RIOS™ Director Darrell Kendall. “The pricing initiative further raises awareness of the RIOS™ certification while offering recycling facilities of all sizes access to the best standard in the industry.”

The annual pricing structure follows:


Discounted Rate for ISRI Members

Non-Profit and Governmental

Standard RIOS™ Rate

First Facility




Each Additional Facility





The announcement of the new pricing model will be presented on September 10 at an educational certification session hosted by ISRI at the annual E-Scrap Conference in Orlando. RIOS™ will be promoted on the trade show floor at booth #709 during the conference. Attendees are encouraged to stop by the RIOS™ booth to meet the new RIOS™ Director, Darrell Kendall, to spin the RIOS™ trivia wheel and to learn about the “RIOS™ Golden Ticket.”

To learn more, or to become a RIOS™ member, contact Darrell Kendall at or 202-662-8528 or visit

PCRR has new certifications

PCRR, an electronics recycler and refurbisher in Chicago, has become the latest company to commit to a higher standard of business and ethical operations by achieving RIOS™ certification. The company already maintains R2 certification, achieved in 2012; with the latest announcement, PCRR is an R2/RIOS™ certified electronics recycler.

PCRR, founded in 2000, primarily focuses on the reuse of used electronic equipment and is a Microsoft® Authorized Refurbisher. The company is the largest computer refurbisher in Illinois and one of the largest in the country.

“We implemented the RIOS™ management system because it is the right thing to do for our employees, customers and the environment,” said Willie Cade, founder and CEO of PCRR. “Adding RIOS™ to our R2 certification reaffirms PCRR’s commitment to providing quality refurbished electronic equipment in an environmentally responsible way.”

RIOS™ serves as an alternative to the combination of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards. To earn RIOS™ certification, PCRR underwent a third-party audit to verify compliance with quality, environmental, health and safety standards.

“As an industry leader in computer refurbishing, PCRR’s RIOS™ certification showcases the importance of certification for all electronics recyclers, including those focused on refurbishment,” said Robin Wiener, president of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI), who administers the RIOS™ program. “R2/RIOS™ certification proves that a facility is committed to the highest standard of responsible business practices.”

R2/RIOS™ certified recycling facilities have experienced significant positive results, including new business opportunities, improved employee retention and increased bottom line. For additional information on R2/RIOS™ certification, visit

For more information on the company, visit, or call (800) 939-6000.


Spring cleaning your personal electronics stockpile

With warmer weather approaching, the annual spring cleaning of American homes is about to begin. This year, instead of dusting around that old TV set that’s doubling as an end stand or moving your cache of unwanted cell phones to another drawer, seek out an R2-certified electronics recycler to handle your personal recyclables stockpile.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the American public has something along the order of 70.5 million computers in storage; they’re joined by 40.2 million computer displays and 105 million TV sets. That adds up to tons upon tons of electronic devices – and we haven’t even considered the 57.8 million mobile devices the EPA estimated in its baseline report.

What would happen if every household in America decided to recycle just one of the old TV sets or mobile phones that are laying about their house? The report probably understates the true volume of electronics stored in the home, says Robin Ingenthorn, owner of Good Point Recycling in Vermont, especially when looking at the households with 20 or more devices lying about.

“These ‘E-waste hoarders’ had a huge impact on companies like mine when recycling became free and widows started delivering massive truckloads out of garages.”
While recycling old electronic devices should be as automatic as separating cans and plastics, electronics, for many areas of the country, can pose a challenge in recycling properly. Some states, with sparser populations, may not have the strong collection networks that larger states boast. In addition, recycling is more ingrained in some states and cities than in others – in Columbus, Ohio, the landfill authority reported 16,444 tons of household waste was recycled, compared to 1.1 million tons landfilled;
Now, compare that to an area like San Francisco, where 72 percent of the waste stream is recycled. Residents in recycle-friendly states are more likely to go the extra step and recycle electronics if they are already accustomed to sorting cans and bottles.

This spring, clear out the clutter, dust the blinds, and recycle that old TV and cellphone cache with an R2/RIOS certified recycler. For more information on electronics recycling and R2 certification, click here.

Remember to recycle your electronics during the holidays

With the holiday shopping season in full swing – and electronics on the top of Santa’s gift list – many organizations are staging electronics recycling drives in December to capture some of the old mobile phones, laptops and tablets that are being replaced.

It’s important to recycle – and not throw away – unwanted electronics. By now, most Americans should know, or at least have a basic feeling that, throwing electronics in the trash is wrong. Perhaps it’s a belief that something that expensive should have some residual value, or the (correct) notion that burying the high-tech components in a landfill could allow potentially harmful substances can leach out into groundwater.

For whatever the reason, Americans are slowly, but surely, beginning to recycle their electronics as automatically as they separate cans, bottles and paper from their household waste.

But is it enough to simply drive electronics down to the city collection point? How many people take the time to find out who is recycling their electronics, and if it’s being done responsibly?

Top recyclers say it’s important for everyone to ensure their electronics are being handled responsibly. Residents, for example, should not hesitate to question how their elected officials selected electronics recyclers for government-sponsored collection events. Do the recyclers have data security protocols in place? Are they certified to industry standards? Will the material be processed in a manner that is safe for the environment and the workers handling it?

In many states, especially those with electronics recycling mandates or producer responsibility laws, state legislatures have set up a minimum requirement for recyclers accepting material from state agencies; in Pennsylvania and the newly-enacted electronics recycling program, electronics recyclers must hold Responsible Recycling or other industry certifications, in addition to meeting other requirements, to participate in the state EPR program. Other states, however, take a laissez-faire approach. For example, in Ohio, while individual businesses or local governments may set their own rules regarding who may handle their obsolete and unwanted escrap, there are no state-wide rules or regulations. That means, potentially, the electronics being collected by the community electronics drive could be handled in an unsafe or insecure manner – and such an occurrence isn’t unheard of, given the vast troves of online information available on how to protect personal information on old phones and laptops.

If you are thinking of recycling your mobile phone or other electronics, first and foremost, consider working with a recycler who is certified to the R2/RIOS™ standards. For more information on certification, visit The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industry’s new website at

Keep these points in mind when recycling electronics:

  • Is the collection method secure? What steps have been taken to protect the data on the devices before they are recycled?
  • Does the recycler have data protection protocols?
  • Is the recycler certified? Will the environment and employees be protected while the electronics are recycled?

R2 and R2/RIOS™ Education Series to be held at September’s E-Scrap conference in Dallas

Following up on a tradition of education at the E-Scrap conference, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries is holding a series of workshops at the annual electronics recycling conference, slated this year to be held in Dallas.

The ISRI workshops are:

The Basics of R2:2008 & R2:2013

Sept. 18, 8-10 a.m.

The first session will focus exclusively on all the basics of the R2: 2008 standard, providing attendees with details and comprehensive understanding of the requirements to become R2 certified.  The session will cater to those looking to learn more about current standards and will highlight changes being considered for R2:2013.  Additionally, the Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS™) will be discussed to showcase a successful environmental, health and safety (EH&S) management system.

Due Diligence & Refurbishment Best Practices

Sept. 18, 10:30 a.m. – noon

To be successful, both internal and external best practices are necessary with downstream partners.  This session will examine both due diligence (R2 Provision 5) and refurbishment (R2 Provision 6).  Speakers will provide step-by-step information to build, streamline and customize your own due diligence program as well as examine best practices to implement for testing, repairing and refurbishing electronics.  Changes considered in R2:2013 will also be discussed.

Registration for both sessions is $125.

Registration for a single session is $85.

Session speakers include: John Lingelbach of R2 Solutions; Kelley Keogh of Greeneye Partners; Corey Dehmey of Momentum; Rike Sandlin of HiTech Assets; Tracey Blaszak of eRecycling Corps; and Sarah Commes of PC Rebuilders & Recyclers.

Why PK Metals decided to pursue R2/RIOS

With more government and businesses becoming cognizant of the benefits of using Certified Recyclers, more and more electronics recyclers are taking the leap and signing on for R2 and RIOS certifications.

Currently, more than 250 facilities, many of them in the U.S., are certified to the R2 standard. This certification ensures producers of electronic scrap that the obsolete computers, monitors, and other goods that the companies handling their materials are doing so in a safe, secure and responsible manner.

What many companies are finding is that obtaining the dual RIOS and R2 certifications are opening doors to new markets for them.

The Recycling Industry Operating Standard™ or “RIOS”™ is the management system standard for quality, environment, and health & safety (QEH&S) specifically for the scrap recycling industry.  RIOS™ includes the operational advancements found in ISO 9001 (Q), ISO 14001 (E), and OHSAS 18001 (H&S) — all integrated into one system, so that an organization can avoid the hassle and expense of implementing each of them individually. RIOS™ can also be achieved more efficiently and at a lower cost than other standards.

The R2/RIOS™ program was created solely for electronics providers and producers to recycle their products responsibly with the highest standards.  R2/RIOS™ allows electronics facilities to meet electronics standards combined with general better practice standards. The R2/RIOS™ program makes it easy to gain both certifications at the same time.

“It has helped us tremendously,” said Philip Fava, CEO of PK Metals of Coram, N.Y. The company recently completed RIOS and R2 certifications at its facility.

“Going through the certification process is definitely a helpful tool,” said William Rouse, the company’s safety officer.  “All of our OEM clients have been very pleased with our internal audits as a result.”

Becoming a RIOS and R2 certified company starts by becoming a member of ISRI and joining the RIOS program. This gives the uncertified companies access to exactly what is in the standard, and some steps on how to prepare for the first visit by the third-party auditors who will determine if a facility has met all of the requirements to become certified.  Then, workshops are held to train the implementation team of a particular company or facility, to make sure everyone understands the requirements of the certification program and what their responsibilities are to prepare for the third-party auditors.

There is a great deal of organization that must go on before the auditors arrive, Rouse said.

“For us, we had policies and procedures governing environmental procedures, safety, emergency management,” said Rouse. “However, many of those policies were verbal. Going through the certification process enabled us to get all of our policies written down, gathered in place and have everyone on the same page.”

After on-site inspections, audits and employee interviews, certification can be granted. Renewal audits are also conducted to ensure continuing compliance. The entire process can take 18-24 months.

Fava, whose company started as a metals recycler, said the certifications have helped him shape a better business.

“We have found that recycling electronics is completely different from recycling other types of scrap,” he said.

Plus, industrial and governmental clients often want to see some sort of certification for quality, environmental, health and safety management system in place, he said. “They’re partial to management systems,” he said. “They want to see how we handle the material, what we do with it.”


ISRI Applauds Avnet Integrated’s ROUND2 INC. on Earning R2/RIOS™ Certification

Washington, D.C. –The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Inc. today applauded ROUND2 INC., an Avnet company (NYSE:AVT),on earning the prestigious industry designation R2/RIOS Certified Electronics Recycler™.  R2/RIOS™ remains the only certification standard tailored specifically for recyclers and focused on promoting quality products, environmental protection, and the health and safety of workers both in the United States and abroad.

“These certifications put ROUND2 at the forefront of this rapidly growing industry,” ISRI President Robin Wiener said. “There is no higher or more exacting standard.  When a company like ROUND2 becomes a R2/RIOS Certified Electronics Recycler™, it is announcing to their competitors and colleagues alike that they have the very highest business and social responsibility standards, but more so, that they are willing to prove it.”

R2/RIOS™, the most affordable and widely used electronics reuse and recycling certification standard, is derived from a combination of two of the industry’s most stringent sets of guidelines: R2, Responsible Recycling Practices, and RIOS™, the Recycling Industry Operating Standard™.  Certification to the two standards for responsible electronics reuse and recycling is recognized in the market as a company that is a R2/RIOS Certified Electronics Recycler™.

“Avnet Integrated’s ROUND2 has a long-standing reputation in the industry for our commitment to excellence,” said Randy Weiss, ROUND2’s president.  “Receiving our R2/RIOS certification clearly demonstrates this commitment while recognizing the rigorous standards to which we adhere in all aspects of our operations.”
Electronics recycling is a fast-growing industry that creates good-paying, green jobs and boosts the U.S. and global economies, all while protecting the environment and promoting health, safety and security throughout the electronics recycling process.

According to the 2011 Electronics Recycling Industry Survey, the U.S. electronics recycling industry continues to show tremendous growth and strong domestic capacity.  The $5 billion-a-year industry that employs more than 30,000 full-time workers in the United States 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.

RIOS™ is the first and only standard for integrated quality, environmental and health and safety (QEH&S) management systems developed specifically for the recycling industry. RIOS™ was developed by ISRI, and includes standards for safe and responsible electronics recycling.

R2 was the first recycling standard specifically targeting electronics recycling and was developed and supported by stakeholders including the U.S. 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; its strict “Reuse, Recovery, Dispose” hierarchy of methods ensures that electronic scrap is properly handled.