GSA Makes Federal Case of E-Waste Recycling

posted by Andrew Cuneo

By Andy Cuneo, Account Supervisor, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Washington, D.C.

Since its inception in late 2008, the Hill+Knowlton Strategies Green Team has made a concerted effort to be responsible environmental citizens. From new silverware to new energy efficient light bulbs, we’ve placed a strong emphasis on recycling and energy conservation. This exercise culminated in an extremely successful e-waste campaign with our client, United Cerebral Palsy, where we collected nearly 1,000 lbs.

On Thursday, the General Services Administration made a very important declaration that all federal agencies are now banned from disposing used electronics in landfills or incinerators. Instead, a bulletin from the GSA offered agencies explicit instructions on where to send electronics for recycling. While some agencies have been doing this for years, the mandate is critical to ensure the rest follow suit. It’s a move that probably should have been made long ago, but I’m both pleased and proud to see action taking place.

Not all e-waste recycling is created equal. Recycling electronics in one place doesn’t always offer the environmental return you’re looking for. There are operations that offer e-waste recycling, only to dump and burn it later on down the line. But there ARE credible third party recycling organizations that take great care in both the materials, and their employees. Agencies, companies and consumers MUST do their due diligence in selecting the right company.

We all need to take a page out of the GSA’s book and look for ways to recycle our old phones, computers and TVs. In the weeks ahead, H+K plans to drive another e-waste recycling program with United Cerebral Palsy. We’ll be sharing information on how you can make a difference as well.

For now, congratulations to the GSA and the Federal Government. Great move. Let’s keep it rolling!

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