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[GreenYes] Re: recycling language for government purchasing of computers

FYI, on this topic, there's a new resource from the Product Policy Institute
about incorporating EPR into purchasing:

PURCHASING BEST PRACTICES: Contracting for Producer Responsibility


From: GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address] On Behalf
Of Anne Peters
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 2:53 PM
To: Wayne Rifer; GreenYes; Jeff Omelchuck;; Sue Chiang
Subject: [GreenYes] Re: recycling language for government purchasing of

Hi John,
How computers and other electronics are managed at end of life is complex
and varies tremendously depending on the institution. I'm sure the State of
Wisconsin has mature surplus practices and policies. My research in this
area indicates that many state's surplus agencies simply sell end-of-life
(EOL) electronics at auction with no regard to what happens after the
equipment is off the state's asset books. There is naturally a risk that
this equipment, much of which contains hazardous chemicals, may be illegally
dumped in the US, causing liabilty under CERCLA to flow back to the State,
or be exported to poorly managed operations overseas where e-scrap is
dismantled in ways that harm human health and the environment (see - in fact, last year they found shocking practices in Nigeria,
including resale of hard drives with recoverable data - specifically child
adoption records from a human services agency in Wisconsin, in fact). The
solution to this is (as you know) is sound contracting around what happens
at EOL for all state-owned electronics - and attending to this when
purchasing new equipment is a good idea.

You may have heard of EPEAT, the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment
Tool ( This is a tool that enables institutional purchasers
to specify EPEAT-registered electronic products (such as computers and
laptops) in the procurement/contracting process. By doing so, a purchasing
organization is assured that these specific products have reduced toxics (in
accordance with the European Union's Directive on Restriction on Hazardous
Substances), have been designed to be easily recyclable, and, to your
question - the company must offer product take-back or recycling service "at
a competitive price that meets US EPA's "Plug-In to e-Cycling: Guidelines
for Materials Management" (5/04)" (Plug-In Guidelines can be found on the
EPEAT web site under Reference Documents and Links, and generally assure ).
Then it's just a matter of negotiating price for the whole purchase - though
I recommend asking that the cost/reimbursement for takeback & recycling be
broken out separately. Finally, of course it is easy to add language to
require the new vendor to takeback old equipment for reuse or recycling
(regardless of brand). Dell did this for the City & County of Denver
several years ago with Denver's new IT purchase contract and I understand it
worked pretty well. The current WSCA contract may also have some language
in it on this particular subject.

Scot Case, who's copied here, is the EPEAT person to speak to about how
purchasers can use EPEAT ((610) 779-3770). I'd be glad to answer questions
about RFPs etc. I'll send you Gracestone's fill-in-the-blanks contract we've
developed for public entities, for such services, for public organizations
(offlist), too. Sue Chiang is an environmental activist working on these
issues - she can tell you more about "beyond EPEAT" too.

Good luck,
Anne Peters
Gracestone, Inc.
Boulder, CO
303.494.4934 vox
303.494.4880 fax

Reindl, John wrote:

The State of Wisconsin is putting out an RFP for desktop and
laptop computer purchases very soon. I am part of a meeting on Thursday
to discuss adding computer recycling requirements with the procurement
staff. Does anyone have specific language that addresses retirement of
old computers as a requirement for installing the new ones or other
ideas? Let me know. Sorry for the short notice but this just came up
this morning. Thanks.


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