Senior Obama Administration Officials visit Blind Center of Nevada's Recycling Program
National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship inspires center to pursue certification
Jan. 18, 2012
LAS VEGAS – GSA Administrator Martha Johnson and Pacific Rim Regional Administrator Ruth Cox visited the Blind Center of Nevada to tour their e-waste recycling operation and discuss the Obama administration’s “National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship” – a strategy for responsible design, purchasing, management, and recycling of electronic devices. A key component of this strategy includes the use of certified recyclers to increase the use of safe and effective e-waste recycling methods.
“The federal government is one our nation’s largest consumers of electronics and because of our large footprint we have a responsibility to uphold when those electronics reach the end of their useful life. The guidance of the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship helps encourage more environmentally friendly design of electronics and directs federal agencies to reuse and recycle excess electronics with a certified recycler,” said GSA Administrator Martha N. Johnson. “By taking the steps to become certified, the Blind Center of Nevada is doing its part to help ensure the federal government’s electronics end their lives in a responsible way and creating new opportunities for the local community.”
As the federal government’s centralized procurement arm, GSA is responsible for $65 billion a year in procurements, including $3 billion in information technology equipment. The administration’s e-waste strategy calls on GSA to encourage the more environmentally-friendly design of electronic products and to direct federal agencies to reuse or recycle discarded electronics at a certified recycler.
“The Blind Center of Nevada has offered recycling services to the Las Vegas Community for a number of years,” said Blind Center President Cory Nelson. “Obtaining R2 certification will open our services up to a broader market and will ultimately have a positive impact on the environment and will increase the financial support our recycling operation provides to our member programs.”
The tour at the Blind Center of Nevada showed how the non-profit stores, sorts, dismantles and tracks old computers, televisions and other electronic devices. The recycling center is currently one of the largest electronic recycling programs in the state of Nevada and prevents over 1 million pounds of e-waste from entering our landfills each year. The money generated from the center’s recycling business allows them to provide free services to their 650 members.
The Blind Center of Nevada assists blind and visually impaired persons of all ages in reaching their highest physical, social, intellectual, and economic potential. To achieve these objectives the center provides a myriad of social activities, job and life skills training, resulting in full employment and a sense of belonging to a people who are sometimes lost and forgotten. The computer recycling program is run in part by visually impaired workers and provides much needed jobs for one of the largest underemployed segments of our population.
As the federal government's workplace solutions provider, the U.S. General Services Administration works to foster an effective, sustainable and transparent government for the American people. GSA’s expertise in government workplace solutions include:
Effective management of government assets including more than 9,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 250,000 vehicles in the federal fleet, and preservation of historic federal properties;
Leveraging the government’s buying power through responsible acquisition of products and services making up approximately 14 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars;
Providing innovative technology solutions to enhance government efficiency and increase citizen engagement; and,
Promoting responsible use of federal resources through development of governmentwide policies ranging from federal travel to property and management practices.