Recycling Government Electronics

Sep 28, 2017

As local, state and federal agencies replace outdated technology equipment, compliance is critical. When deciding to dispose of, recycle, or sell your electronics make sure you are meeting all required legislation and standards. Watch our video to learn what requirements are in place for government agencies when recycling electronics. SEAM offers R2 and e-Stewards certified electronics recycling in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska areas.

SEAM’s data destruction services for hard drives and solid state drives meet NIST Special Publication 800-88 standards to ensure government agencies are in compliance with the required security controls through proper sanitization or destruction of Information Systems (IS). We provide on and offsite data shredding services, complete disk wiping and chain of custody reporting for a clear audit trail of each data-containing device. Here are a few standards and regulations to be aware of:

  • EO 13834: Executive Order (EO) 13834, Efficient Federal Operations, was signed on May 17, 2018 and outlines a number of measures to make the Federal Government’s agencies prioritize actions that reduce waste, cut costs, enhance the resilience of Federal infrastructure and operations, and enable more effective accomplishment of its mission. Guidelines are included in Sec. 2 (f) to “implement waste prevention and recycling measures and comply with all Federal requirements with regard to solid, hazardous, and toxic waste management and disposal” as well as Sec.2 (g) “acquire, use, and dispose of products and services, including electronics, in accordance with statutory mandates for purchasing preference, Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements, and other applicable Federal procurement policies”. Agencies may refer to the 2012 GSA Bulletin FMR B-34, “Disposal of Federal Electronic Assets” for the documentation and appropriate disposal of excess and surplus Federal Electronic Assets (FEA) or when returning leased electronics. This includes recycling e-waste through certified recyclers and manufacturer take-back programs. Excess and surplus electronics should not be disposed of in landfill or incinerators. GSA recognizes only two environmentally responsible recycling standards and related third-party certification programs, the Responsible Recycling (R2) program and the e-Stewards® program.
  • FISMA: In 2002, The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) was passed into law, requiring federal agencies and government contractors to develop, document, and implement information security procedures to safeguard their Information Systems (IS). Organizations must protect their IS media, both paper and digital, limit IS access to authorized users, and sanitize or destroy IS media before disposal or release for reuse. Per FISMA, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards help federal agencies meet the requirements for security controls of digital media potentially containing classified information.
  • NSES: The National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship (NSES) was developed in 2011 to provide recommendations for the federal government and businesses to improve the design of electronic products and enhance management of used or discarded electronics. This Strategy ensures the federal government leads by example, increases safe and effective management and handling of used electronics in the United States, reduces harm from U.S. exports of electronics waste, and improves handling of used electronics in developing countries.
  • Publication 1075: The Tax Information Security Guidelines For Federal, State and Local Agencies provides guidance to ensure proper policies, practices, controls, and safeguards are employed by recipient agencies, agents, or contractors to adequately protect the confidentiality of Federal Tax Information (FTI) from unauthorized use, access, and disclosure. Any FTI containing personally identifiable information (PII) furnished or stored in electronic format must be sanitized or destroyed in accordance with disposal procedure requirements (Section, Media Sanitization (MP-6), and Section 9.4.7, Media Sanitization).
  • Sioux Falls City Ordinance 57.050: Effective May 4, 2004, the City of Sioux Falls ordinance 57.050 bans electronics from the Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill. Any person bringing material for deposit at the landfill, upon entry onto the landfill premises, authorizes the city to inspect the material before deposit. If excluded materials are discovered during the inspection, the city may refuse the entire load and charge the person attempting to deposit the materials the cost of the inspection.
  • CERCLA: The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) is a federal law governing the appropriate cleanup and handling of hazardous waste sites. Enacted to help clean up releases of hazardous substances into the environment, CERCLA authorizes the federal government to demand and collect cleanup costs from all companies that are deemed to have contributed to the hazardous situation. If an initial polluter is unable to pay the clean-up costs of their pollution (for instance a recycler), the government can seek clean-up costs from firms deemed to have contributed to that pollution, meaning any business disposing of retired IT assets. It’s important to use due diligence when selecting an electronics recycling provider to ensure they are properly managing all equipment, not just the valuable items. 
  • RCRA: The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) calls for “cradle to grave” management of hazardous waste. RCRA makes generators of hazardous waste liable for the proper management or disposal of the hazardous material. This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. Focused on waste minimization and phasing out land disposal of hazardous waste, RCRA calls for increased enforcement authority for the EPA and more stringent hazardous waste management standards. Many electronics are considered hazardous waste due to the high content of hazardous materials, including lead and mercury.
  • LEED Certification: The Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standard was developed by the US Green Building Council for green energy buildings and efficient infrastructure. LEED certified buildings receive points to qualify for any of the four levels of certification based on categories including building planning, construction, maintenance and operation. Companies can earn LEED points by implementing a universal waste recycling program and taking appropriate measures for the safe collection, storage, and disposal of batteries, mercury-containing lamps, and electronic waste.

Click to view SEAM’s Capability Statement for Government Agencies.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.