We have successfully renewed our accreditations once again. Hooraay! Kudos to our Quality Manager Alex who worked diligently on this task over the past months.
Here are the reasons why is it important for us to keep our certifications and how you can make sure your items are recycled properly.
Why we have ISO 14001:2015
On the 8th of December 2011 we gained our first formal accreditation for environmental management; ISO 14001 (back then it was ISO 14001:2004, it was updated into 2015 and later turned into ISO 14001:2015.)
We gained this accreditation for three reasons:
- It was a requirement from one of our co-regulatory partners to obtain it so we can participate in the NTCR scheme. (See our blogpost NTCR scheme explained.)
- It helps us improve our environmental performance as a company. It also helps us manage change, and makes sure that we are reviewing our environmental goals and allocating resources appropriately. In short, it holds us accountable for our goals.
- It is internationally recognized as a holistic environmental system which gives our clients the peace of mind knowing we adhere to internationally set standards.
Why we are AS/NZ 5377 accredited
We became officially certified in June 2016. It was a contractual requirement for us to participate in the NTCRS with one of our co-regulatory arrangements.
Being accredited to AS 5377 for processing e-waste ensures that we are recycling in excess of 90% of the materials we receive for the full life cycle.
This is the main point of difference between an AS/NZ 5377 accredited recycler and a metal recycler or a non-AS/NZ 5377 accredited recycler.
Recycling is primarily an economic problem, not so much a technical one. As our director James Coghill often says: “Anything can be recycled. At what price, that’s the question!”
“Anything can be recycled. At what price, that’s the question!”
Why all recyclers are not the same
Some recycling companies focus only on recovering and recycling economically valuable materials. Recovered materials which have a cost associated with getting rid of them are usually disposed of in the cheapest way possible. You guessed it. Landfilling is one way, on-selling the problem to other countries such as China is another.
As a recycler accredited under AS/NZ 5377 we must ensure that 90% of materials we recover are recycled properly (not burned by young children in Asia) and fed back into the circular economy. Even if it comes at a higher cost. In 2018 we were proud to have achieved a 91% recycling rate for the e-waste that we received and processed.
Examples of materials attracting higher recycling costs include:
- Leaded glass
- Ink and toner cartridges
- Fluorescent Tubes and lighting fixtures
- Mercury lamps & switches
- and the list goes on and on as e-waste is a complex waste stream made out of hundreds materials.
If you send a printer to a metal recycler, for example, the metal recycler will recover the metals, however they will not recover the plastic, PCB, Ink and toner, mercury lamp (if it’s a scanner or MFC device) and glass. All of which are recyclable but attract a higher cost or recycling.
How to make sure your items are recycled properly
You can search for a company’s accreditation to verify it through the JAS-ANZ register.
Please beware that some recyclers are getting accredited for AS/NZ 5377 but with exclusions in the accreditation such as processing and logistics, which is the important part.
This is misleading, as they have on their website that they are accredited to AS/NZ 5377, but when you read their accreditation it excludes the main reason you would want them to be accredited.
So please make sure you recycle your e-waste with not only AS/NZ 5377 accredited company but with a recycler who includes the whole process like us. This is how the whole accreditation looks like on the JAS-ANZ website.
If you have any questions, please comment below or send us a message.