Electronic Recycling Certifications - R2 vs. e-Stewards

Recycling your electronics is a great step in becoming a responsible user of technology. Read how to become a Certified Electronics Recycler through certification programs.

With the ever-developing landscape of technology and its deep integration within today's workplace and business processes, electronics like computers and cellphones become quickly outdated, obsolete or broken from overuse at a much higher rate. When you're finished with a newspaper, a plastic drink bottle or a can of baked beans, you can recycle them, and the same applies to electronics.

Becoming a certified electronics recycler means your organization is dedicated to reducing your negative impact on both the environment and human health. Nowadays, many people are making more of a conscious effort to consume and utilize products and services that have less of an environmental impact. By becoming a certified electronics recycler, your organization can confidently promote that you understand and practice effective electronics recycling processes and attract more of the ever-growing number of environmentally-conscious consumers. You are also making a difference! Reducing your organization's energy use, contributing to the conservation of our limited natural resources and increasing access to quality reusable materials for those in need of it.

R2 vs. e-Stewards - what's the difference?

Researching certification training will show there are two main routes to becoming a certified electronics recycler recognized by the EPA - R2 and e-Stewards. Here we give a brief rundown of both certifications and the main differences between them.

Responsible Recycling ("R2") Standard for Electronics Recyclers

  • Results in fully audited implementations of safety and environmental compliance
  • Controls and processes waste in accordance to EPA standards
  • Ability to create custom standard that suit the company but still fit within greater compliance standards
  • Fixed annual price to obtain certification
  • Accommodates the overseas exportation of recyclables to developing countries

Learn more about the R2 certification on their website here.

Seri logo

e-Stewards®Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment©

  • Results in fully audited implementations of safety and environmental compliance
  • Controls and processes waste in accordance to EPA standards
  • Places a blanket set of standards for all guidelines
  • Price of certification is dependent on company size, revenue etc.
  • Includes the ISO 14001 standard
  • Prohibits the export of hazardous electronic waste from developed to developing countries

Learn more about the e-Stewards certification on their website here.


On a basic level, SERI's R2 standard provides more flexibility with the ability to customize standards based on the needs of your organization, while e-Stewards standards are more rigid, providing structure, ease-of-use and time-efficiency in its initial implementation.

Both certifications are endorsed and supported by the EPA so if you're deciding between the certifications, the decision ultimately depends on the needs of your organization. Assessing your recycling requirements and then referring to either website for specific details will help you to determine which certification is right for you.

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