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The electronics recycling and refurbishment certification program known as e-Stewards® announced a new “digital equity” program designed to channel computer equipment from large corporations and institutions to needy individuals and communities across North America.

Despite the fact that education, jobs, job access and emergency services depend heavily on the internet and computing equipment, one in five persons in the U.S. still do not have access to the internet. Meanwhile, every year, thousands of working computers, printers and peripherals are removed from service and are shredded, or worse, exported to dirty recycling operations in developing countries.

The new e-Stewards Digital Equity (eDE) program, due to go live on January 1, 2018, will tap large corporate partners to donate working or repairable IT equipment directly to e-Stewards Certified Refurbisher/Recyclers, who will refurbish them. Like-new devices in this program will then be sold to and deployed by city led digital equity programs to provide digital access to low income end-users at very low cost. The e-Stewards program hopes to divert thousands of computers and peripherals each year via ethical refurbishment.

By providing large enterprise companies with the assurance of careful management and refurbishment of their old equipment, and an established, reputable channel to needy communities, the e-Stewards Digital Equity program will allow enterprise corporations to more easily engage in donating to ethical reuse for community good. e-Stewards Certification assures worker protections, data security, minimum specifications for tested and fully functional equipment, and prohibits the export of hazardous electronic scrap to developing countries.

E-Stewards is actively enrolling interested cities, e-Stewards Certified Refurbishers/Recyclers, and enterprise donors and service providers as eDE partners to profoundly change the lives of the 20 percent of citizens that are prevented from engaging in the digital age.

Published in the November 2017 Edition of American Recycler News