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HHS-OCIO-2011-0002.001 Appendix B

Appendix B

Recycling Options for Civilian Facilities

The following options are available to assist OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs in recycling electronic equipment:

  • An electronics recycler certified to the Responsible Recycling (R2) Practices for Use in Accredited Certification Programs or the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Waste;
  • Manufacturer take-back services for electronics recycling; or
  • Select and use another environmentally responsible electronics recycler.

Using a Certified Recycler

There are existing recycling certification programs, such as the R2 Practices and e-Stewards, that EPA and the FEC believe advance environmentally safe practices and include standards for use in third party certification of such efforts.

Use of either an R2 certified or e-Stewards certified electronics recycler meets your federal requirements to employ environmentally sound practices with respect to disposition of electronic products. Use of these certified recyclers requires no further due diligence.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Recycling facilities are certified at the facility level. A multi-facility or national organization must independently certify each of their locations. Due to the length of time required for certification, these multi-facility or national organizations may have some facilities that are certified and some that are not yet certified. Check to determine which facility location will be used to recycle your electronics, and ensure that specific facility is certified.

To find an R2 certified recycler, please check the R2 Solutions website:

To find an e-Stewards certified recycler, please check their online map for recyclers indicated by markers as certified to the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Waste:  Please note that recyclers indicated by markers as qualified by BAN under the Electronic Recyclers Pledge of True Stewardship program are NOT third-party certified and do not meet federal due diligence requirements.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  There may be a number of recyclers that are undergoing the certification process for these standards. These recyclers are NOT third-party certified and do not meet federal due diligence requirements until their certification is complete and they are listed on the applicable website as certified.



Federal agencies and facilities may use UNICOR to recycle their electronics. UNICOR is a wholly owned government corporation whose mission is to train and employ inmates housed in Federal prisons. UNICOR receives no Congressional appropriations, but instead sustains its operations through the sale of goods and services to primarily Federal agencies.

IMPORTANT NOTE: UNICOR is working towards R2 certification at all of its facilities that perform electronics recycling. Please check with UNICOR and third party certifiers to determine which facilities have been certified. If you are utilizing a UNICOR facility that is not yet R2 certified, the FEC recommends you practice due diligence to ensure that the selected facility utilizes environmentally sound practices, in accordance with E.O. 13514 (see PERFORMING DUE DILIGENCE FOR ELECTRONICS RECYCLERS below).

More information is available on UNICOR’s website:


Manufacturer Take-Back Services for Electronics Recycling

Federal agencies and facilities may use manufacturer take-back services through one of two methods: exchange/sales or abandonment/destruction.

Exchange/Sales: When replacing personal property with similar items, the value of the old items may be used to reduce the cost of the replacement item either by exchange (trade-in) or sale with a manufacturer or vendor.

  • Abandonment/Destruction: If the manufacturer is willing to take-back obsolete and/or broken equipment, federal agencies may declare the property for abandonment and destruction and use manufacturer take-back services.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Electronics taken-back by a manufacturer may not necessarily be reused, refurbished, recycled or disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. Federal agencies and facilities must exercise due diligence when returning used electronics to manufacturers (reference BEST PRACTICES FOR THE RECYCLING OF ELECTRONICS).

Certain restrictions and reporting requirements apply to exchange/sales and abandonment/destruction declarations. See GSA’s Personal Property Disposal Guide, available at:, for more information.


Selecting and Using Environmentally Responsible Recycler

Federal agencies and facilities may also choose and contract with a local electronics recycler that meets their needs:

  • Federal agencies and facilities may utilize GSA’s Environmental Services Schedule (GSA 899-5), a multiple award schedule of electronic waste or hazardous material recycling contractors. Federal agencies and facilities should be aware that the selection of recyclers on this schedule was based on the business, not the environmental, practices of the recycler.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s eCycling website includes links to manufacturer and retailer Plug-In To eCycling program websites, and links to other organizations that provide assistance in finding local electronics recyclers:
  • Local or state environmental or solid waste agency may have local collection programs or databases of vendors who recycle obsolete electronics.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When not utilizing a certified recycler, federal agencies and facilities must practice due diligence to ensure that the electronics recycler they select utilizes environmentally sound practices, in accordance with E.O. 13514


See for additional information.


Additional Best Practices for the Recycling of Electronics

For information on how to prepare electronic equipment for recycling, please see FEC’s resource, Preparing to Recycle Used Electronic Equipment, available at:  

For information on properly packaging used electronic equipment, please see FEC’s resource, Packaging Used Electronics for Transportation, available at: