R2 Certification: What is it?

This certification was created directly for the electronic recycling industry to adhere to certain rules and qualifications to safely and legally recycle electronics.  Responsible Recycling (R2) is a standard set forth by Sustainable Electronics Recycling International. (SERI)

Contributing partners to form these standards include:

  • Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA was responsible for a study of the implementation of the R2 standards)
  • Regulators from state agencies
  • OEMs/customers of electronics recycling services and non-governmental organizations and their trade associations
  • Electronics recyclers

After being accredited by ANAB in 2008, R2 was officially released.

R2 Certification is international, and the standards and guidance have been made available in five languages. (English, Spanish, French, German, Danish) The current standard of the R2 Certification is R2:2013.


R2 Certification Process

Apex’s Florence, Kentucky location is R2 certified.

The certification process involves a multi-step audit by a SERI-approved certifying body. These steps include:

  • Site Visits
  • Personnel Interviews
  • Documentation Review
  • Opportunities for corrective action to bring all parts of an operation into compliance.

R2 Certification is fully re-audited every three (3) years, with shorter surveillance audits performed in the years in between.

Only facilities that conform to all provisions of the standard, are current on all required audits and oversight, and have completed all necessary paperwork and payments to SERI are permitted to claim R2 Certification for electronics recycling and ITAD.

Apex has set itself apart from many e-recyclers by successfully maintaining the structure built by the R2 guidelines set forth by SERI.  Obtaining and retaining this certification is diligent work and provides customers assurance that their data and assets are being processed by a certified recycler.


R2 Certification – Required Training and Guidelines:

  1. Environmental, Health, and Safety Management Systems – All R2 Certified recyclers must have a separate EHS system, such as ISO or RIOS.
  2. Reuse & Recover Hierarchy of Responsible Management Strategies – R2 certified recyclers must have a written policy pledging to prioritize Reuse and Recovery options for material before considering less desirable solutions like incineration and landfilling, which is only allowed “if no reuse or recycling options are viable.”
  3. Legal Requirements
  4. On-site Environmental, Health, and Safety
  5. R2 Focus Materials – Circuit Boards, Batteries, CRT, Mercury/Lamps, PCBs
  6. Reusable Equipment and Resale
  7. Tracking Throughput
  8. Data Destruction
  9. Storage
  10. Security
  11. Insurance, Closure Plan
  12. Transport
  13. Recordkeeping