Onsite Electronics Recycling announced today that it has been certified to the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment at its company-wide locations.

Onsite Electronics Recycling is the 14th company in North America and the 3rd in California with facilities that have achieved e-Stewards Certification. The e-Stewards Certification program, created by the Basel Action Network (BAN), formally recognizes electronics recyclers that adhere to the most stringent environmentally and socially responsible practices when recovering hazardous electronic materials.

e-Stewards Certification is the first such program backed by the U.S. federal government, environmental organizations and major corporations alike. The accredited third-party audited program is one of two recycler certification programs now required for recycling of electronic waste generated from U.S. government agencies. It is the only e-recycler certification endorsed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA, the Electronics TakeBack Coalition and 68 other environmental organizations. It has also drawn the public support of major corporate “e-Stewards Enterprises” including Alcoa, Samsung, Bank of America, Capital One Financial Corp., LG Electronics and Wells Fargo.

The e-Stewards Standard prevents the export of hazardous e-wastes to developing countries and does not allow the use of prison labor to manage toxic e-waste which often contain personal data, or the landfilling or incineration of toxic e-waste. It also requires strict protection of customer’s data and occupational health and safety controls to protect workers involved in the recycling of this material. Organizations and individuals entrusting their scrap electronics to certified e-Stewards recyclers like Onsite Electronics Recycling are ensured that their efforts to recycle responsibly are honored.

Without these stringent requirements, North American recyclers have often been found to export e-waste to developing countries, where impoverished villagers, even children, toil over burn piles and acid baths to separate toxic components and small amounts of precious metals, creating an environmental nightmare, as documented in a 60 Minutes expose entitled “Following the Trail of Toxic e-Waste,” which aired in late 2008. The piece featured a seemingly responsible recycling company collecting e-waste from Denver residents and surreptitiously shipping it to poor countries where it was being dumped and burned. BAN was an integral part of the investigation.

“In achieving e-Stewards Certification, Onsite Electronics Recycling has demonstrated adherence to the most rigorous electronics recycling standard in the world,” said Jim Puckett, BAN’s Executive Director. “By providing good jobs with fair wages and benefits in an award-winning environmentally designed and managed facility, Onsite shows that responsible e-waste recycling makes sense for the environment , society and the economy.”

Janice Oldemeyer, President of Onsite Electronics Recycling, says the company was founded on the principal that e-waste should be managed responsibly in the United States, creating local jobs with fair wages and benefits. However, it has often been difficult to distinguish Onsite Electronics Recycling from competitors that keep costs artificially low by secretly shipping overseas. “We are proud to receive this certification, because it represents our adherence to the strictest environmental and social standards in the Industry which are principle to our operating philosophy,” said Oldemeyer.

“The unfortunate reality is that most e-waste collected for ‘recycling’ is improperly managed, and the e-Stewards certification is the only standard that adequately addresses the myriad of problems that stem from mismanagement, including illegal exportation, hazardous environmental and worker conditions, and data security breaches. Passing the rigorous independent downstream audits is no easy feat, and we are delighted to see Onsite Electronics Recycling raise the bar for local recyclers,” said Desi Reno, San Joaquin County’s Integrated Waste Manager.

Onsite Electronic Recycling’s customers include OEM’s, small and medium businesses, residents, non-profits, solid waste companies and governmental organizations. The company is the recipient of multiple awards for its environmentally sound business practices. All e-waste is securely destroyed at their facilities in Stockton.