The Benefits of Reusing Electronics
Fundamental to CompuCycle’s R2 Standard is the emphasis on reuse as the best approach to managing electronics. Reuse extends the useful life of electronics, thereby reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing new products. In addition to the widely recognized environmental benefits, reusing electronics also provides economic and social benefits by bridging the digital divide with affordable electronics – particularly in emerging markets. In many regions of the world, the technology boom of the past decade has been fueled largely by access to affordable used electronics.
Under R2, reusable electronics can be fully functional, or they can have properly worked and tested key functions (such as a laptop with shortened battery life or a cell phone that no longer takes pictures). The R2 Standard maximizes the reuse of devices in both categories. Provision 6.c.2 of the Standard requires that the key functions of all devices sold or donated for reuse must be working and tested, with test results recorded and verified. If any secondary functions do not work, this must be disclosed to potential buyers. Importantly, the testing must be done by a qualified technician – it is not simply a matter of “powering on” by a warehouse employee.