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R2v3 and WEEE: What are they? How are they different?

Proper disposal of electronic equipment has become an important topic for manufacturers, legislators, and the public across the globe. Concerns about the heavy metals and potentially harmful chemicals used in manufacturing these items contaminating our environment has led to the creation of multiple methodologies. Two key standards that have been making an impact on preserving and protecting environmental and human safety have been Responsible Recycling (R2v3) and Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). R2v3 was introduced in a previous communication, but as a refresher, this is the global certification for the IT asset disposition industry originally created with guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It provides a common set of processes, safety measures and documentation requirements for businesses that repair and recycle used electronics. WEEE is a European Community Directive concerned with electrical and electronic waste. Together with the RoHS Directive, it became European Law in February 2003. It was implemented to reduce the creation of electrical and electronic waste and to encourage the recovery, reuse, and recycling of electrical and electronic products. These two influential standards are similar in many ways, but also have many differences. Below is a breakdown of some key differences between these two standards, to help clarify the variances.


Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

  • Regulates the disposal of electrical equipment

  • Designed for manufacturers, collectors and transporters handling Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) within EU countries

  • Designed for all levels of EEE handling

  • 6 product categories that cover ALL electrical and electronic equipment

  • Manufacturers register the amount of EEE put into the marketplace in member countries

  • WEEE collectors log the weight and give credit to appropriate manufacturers

  • EEE manufacturers create guides to assist with dismantling, de-pollution, and recovery efforts

  • No specified data sanitization requirements

  • No additional certification requirements

Responsible Recycling (R2v3)

  • Regulates the handling, tracking, and disposal of electronic equipment

  • Designed for global use

  • Designed primarily for ITAD company use

  • 5 focus materials contained within regulated electronic equipment

  • R2v3 companies track movement of all materials to end of life using unique identifiers and weight

  • 25 US states and 51 (non-EU) countries are covered by independent e-waste legislation, policies, and regulations

  • No standardized de-manufacturing process

  • NIST 800-88 or NSA-approved methods for data sanitization are required

  • ISO 45001 (Occupational Health and Safety Standard) certification required

  • ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and ISO 9001 (Quality Management) or RIOS certifications required

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