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AITP Announces Standards of Responsibility for Handling Electronic Waste

Monday, July 21, 2008   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Norbert Kublius
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Chicago, IL (June 18, 2008) - The Association of Information Technology Professionals ("AITP") announced that it has issued a formal set of Standards of Responsibility for Handling Electronic Waste ("eWaste") which it recommends be adopted by information technology organizations.

According to AITP President Mark Kleine, "Approximately 1 billion pieces of computer equipment will become potential scrap by 2010. Dealing with electronic waste is now an environmental crisis. The inappropriate handling of eWaste also exposes individuals and organizations to the loss of confidential and/or proprietary information."

AITP's Legislative Affairs Committee developed these Standards in consultation with LifeSpan Technology Recycling, a leading provider of secure and environmentally compliant electronic recycling and data destruction services.

1. Establish both environmental and privacy statements and goals regarding how they will commit to manage end-of-life electronics, as well as establish a written account of their management practices.

2. Manage operations and downstream vendor/technology selections in accordance with a hierarchy of responsible management strategies for end-of-life electronics equipment.

3. Maintain compliance with all applicable environmental, health, and safety legal requirements.

4. Employ an IT asset retirement solution that will utilize their internal or their vendor's Environmental, Health, and Safety Management System(s) ("EMS") to ensure effective management of the environmental and health and safety impacts of their operations.

5. Maintain documentation sufficient to demonstrate the management and material flow of the equipment, components, and materials that pass through their facilities.

6. Utilize practices at their facilities that protect worker safety, public health, and the environment.

7. Obtain written assurances that downstream vendors that receive Materials of Concern - e.g., lead, PCBs, mercury, and other hazardous materials contained in electronic equipment - utilize practices that protect worker safety, public health, and the environment.

8. Ensure that their business practices comply with all legal requirements of each transit and recipient country to which Materials of Concern are shipped, and require assurances that downstream vendors' business practices are also compliant.

9. Ensure the equipment and components that they and their downstream vendors send for reuse or refurbishment are appropriate for reuse, and that any such equipment or components containing Materials of Concern that are not reused are managed in adherence to legal and ethical business practices.

10. Ensure that all equipment and components that are impracticable to reuse (or contrary to the organizations explicit direction are managed properly in accordance with # 2, using technologies that are protective of health, safety, and the environment.

11. Transport all equipment, components, and materials using entities that have the necessary regulatory authorizations and in a manner protective of public health and the environment.

12. Ensure that recyclers possess insurance that is adequate to cover the potential environmental and privacy risks and liabilities associated with the nature and size of the company's operations.

13. Work with recyclers that have assurances in place regarding the proper closure of their facilities.

14. Employ current generally-accepted data destruction procedures unless otherwise directed by the organization.

15. Follow physical security measures appropriate for the equipment they handle and maintain.

"Recycling and reusing obsolete electronic equipment are the preferred methods for handling eWaste," observes Legislative Committee Chair Norbert Kubilus. "Tossing eWaste into the trash isn't a viable option. In fact, it is illegal in most states."

About AITP:
The Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) is a national association dedicated to promoting and evolving the technical and business skills of the information technology professional, to fostering the profession of information technology, and providing leadership opportunities in the Information Technology community. Established in 1951, AITP today is comprised of IT professionals, academicians, and university students in the Information Technology industry throughout the United States, Canada and in other countries around the world. For more information, visit http://www.aitp.org/.

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