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Federal E-Recycling Event Nets Almost 50 Tons of Electronic Waste

Federal E-Recycling Event Nets Almost 50 Tons of Electronic Waste

May 20, 2013

NEW YORK CITY – Local federal agencies collected a total of almost 50 tons of electronic waste, filling 13 large trucks, for recycling at a special event sponsored today by the U.S. General Services Administration. GSA’s recycling event was held at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in lower Manhattan and demonstrates the federal government’s ongoing commitment to the National Strategy on Electronic Stewardship.

“As the nation’s single largest user of electronic items, the federal government wants to demonstrate its commitment to the proper disposal of these products that have reached the end of their useful life-cycle,” commented Denise L. Pease, GSA’s Northeast and Caribbean Regional Administrator. “Recycling programs for electronic waste are not only good for the environment, but also support job creation in the recycling industry. The federal community in New York City annually diverts over 1,300 tons of waste from landfills through GSA’s recycling programs. Making a more sustainable government is a GSA priority.”

“The federal government is committed to ensuring its electronics are recycled in a way that protects the environment," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Done right, electronics recycling can create new economic and environmental opportunities. I commend GSA and all our partner federal agencies for their leadership in this important initiative."

GSA reached out to local federal agencies to encourage their participation in E-Recycle Day and also coordinated with Unicor* (Federal Prison Industries) for the logistics of shrink-wrapping the discarded items and transporting them for recycling. Items collected from today’s event filled more than a dozen large trucks and Unicor indicated it was their largest e-waste collection to date.

The federal government as a whole is the nation’s largest consumer of electronics, and GSA is responsible for procuring roughly $640 million in information technology equipment annually and the federal government as a whole purchases more than $14 billion a year in information technology equipment to serve the American people.

GSA, as a good steward of the environment, wants to promote and encourage the responsible use and disposal of electronics that were outlined in the National Strategy for Electronic Stewardship. The policy gives GSA the opportunity to lead by example and become a more responsible user of electronics while supporting jobs in the growing e-waste industry. Both the GSA and EPA Regional Administrators visited a local e-waste recycler two years ago to get a firsthand look at this growing job market. Information and a video of the visit are posted on GSA’s website.*

Under the policy, reusing electronics remains the priority. Products are first offered for reuse by other agencies. Electronic items and computers can also be donated to schools, non-profits, and local governments or offered for sale. Recently GSA’s Northeast and Caribbean Region announced that it was making a special effort under its Computers For Learning Program to donate computer equipment to local schools impacted by Super Storm Sandy. The agency has already made allocations of 100 laptops to five local schools in the New York City area that incurred serious damage from the storm.

GSA’s commitment to sustainability, is helping to make government work better for the American people and as a result, helping create jobs of the future, which will allow America to compete in a global economy.


*Federal Prison Industries (commonly referred to as FPI, or by its trade name UNICOR), is a wholly-owned government corporation established by the Congress June 23, 1934. Its mission is to employ and provide job skills training to the greatest practicable number of inmates confined within the Federal Bureau of Prisons; contribute to the safety and security of our Nation’s federal correctional facilities by keeping inmates constructively occupied; provide market-quality products and services; operate in a self-sustaining manner; and to minimize FPI’s impact on private sector business and labor. UNICOR operates a robust electronics recycling program as a business line and jobs-training activity.

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