Best Buy toughens e-recycling rules

Starting next year, Best Buy will require all of its recycling partners to provide additional independent reviews of their handling of electronic waste.

Best Buy now requires recyclers to meet the retailer's standards, and those of at least one of two outside groups known as e-Stewards and R2. Next year, recyclers working with Best Buy will have to meet the standards of both outside organizations.

"We want to make sure that we continue to have the strongest program out there in terms of assuring our customers that their old goods will be recycled responsibly," said Leo Raudys, who oversees Best Buy's recycling program. "We thought this was the best way to do that."

Developers of the R2 standard included state regulators, recyclers, and electronics manufacturers.

"We're definitely raising the bar in the sense that we're requiring this dual certification," Raudys said. "For some of our customers, the R2 certification is the most important certification. For other customers, e-Stewards is the most important certification."

Environmental groups and electronics recyclers created the e-Stewards program, which has focused on keeping electronics waste from being exported to developing countries. Best Buy says it has always had a policy against the exporting of non-working electronics.

Last year, Best Buy accepted nearly 90 million pounds of consumer electronics for recycling.

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