All federal agencies have been banned from disposing of electronic waste in landfills or incinerators.
The policy, established by the General Services Administration (GSA), also directs e-waste to certified companies for recycling, also providing opportunities for the e-waste industry, said GSA Administrator Martha Johnson in a news release.
The new policy, outlined in a bulletin to federal agencies, directs them to reuse electronics as much as possible and then turn non-working products over to certified e-waste recyclers. As electronic items reach the end of their use, asset managers should offer these products for reuse at other agencies, schools, state and local governments, or put them up for sale.
Additionally, the GSA encourages those receiving used government electronics to follow the same reuse and certified recycling standards as the U.S. government.
“The federal government as a whole is the nation’s largest consumer of electronics, and through this policy it will now be a more responsible user of electronics,” Johnson said. “We are ensuring that electronics from federal agencies will be reused or sent to certified e-waste recycling plants.”
The move is the first step in the Obama Administration’s national strategy to set sustainability goals for federal agencies.