Guide to Green Electronics
18 top manufacturers are ranked according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change.
In October, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General issued a report in which it found that UNICOR's e-waste recycling practices were severely lacking.
At the time, Recycling Today quoted the report as follows:
Our investigation found that prior to 2009 Unicor's management of the e-waste recycling program resulted in numerous violations of health, safety and environmental laws, regulations and BOP (Federal Bureau of Prisons) policies.
It is reasonable to question whether UNICOR deserves a second chance under new management with the same old oversight. It is also reasonable to question whether a public agency should sponsor a business which by its very existence inhibits the development of the domestic electronics recycling infrastructure this country so desperately needs.
Things have improved since UNICOR has been under new management, Houghton told me in an IT Business Edge interview, but what's to keep another person at another time from taking the organization in the wrong direction again? It's that uncertainty that prompted the Columbus, Ohio-based technology change management company to seek a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration.
Houghton told me:
The federal government is the largest IT user in the world, but their asset management practices have not necessarily kept up with their consumption of IT. There's a great deal of opportunity for the government to become more efficient and adopt policies and methods for reuse to reduce expenditures and improve sustainability-and also to be more environmentally responsible.
Redemtech hopes to do that in part by encouraging the government to adopt the e-waste recycling best practices that corporate America has used and found profitable for years. "It's a revolutionary idea-asking government to be as thrifty as private business," Houghton said.