Good News For Us, Our Clients, and the Environment

Every year we get a report card about whether we’re living up to the second part of our Echo Environmental name, and every third year we get a big report card. Not to brag, but it just came in and we got all As.

Orion Registrar, a Denver-based auditing company that examines whether companies are meeting recycling standards, has renewed our R2 Responsible Recycling certification. The auditors monitor us annually and conduct a full recertification review every three years, which is now complete.

The R2 certification, administered worldwide by the organization Sustainable Electronics Recycling International, requires companies to show they safeguard environmental and public health by ensuring worker health, safety and security, and documenting the chain of custody of materials being recycled.

We take great pride in maintaining the highest level of environmental stewardship and transparencyGeorge HicksCompliance Manager

“We take great pride in maintaining the highest level of environmental stewardship and transparency,” said George Hicks, the compliance manager at our Carrollton, Texas, warehouse. “It’s important to our clients to know they are dealing with a company that cares about the environment, but it’s just as important to us to do the right thing.”

Hicks said the certification process involves on-site inspections, along with scrutiny of documentation of everything from maintaining proper licenses to confirming the destinations and practices of companies receiving materials processed at Echo Environmental.

The R2 standards also incorporate the National Institute for Systems and Technology’s NIST 800-88 guidelines for data destruction, ensuring that a company’s sensitive information is protected when it recycles electronic equipment.

Concurrent with the R2 process, Echo Environmental also completed OHSAS 18001:2007 recertification. That stands for  Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series, an internationally recognized British standard confirming proper occupational health and safety management systems.

The company also upgraded to ISO 14001:2015, another environmental benchmark administered by the International Organization for Standardization in Switzerland.

“Maintaining these standards isn’t easy or cheap,” Hicks said. “But environmental responsibility is one of our core values, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

What Happens to Your Old Cable Box? Here's a Sneak Peek

At this week’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Apple TV lead designer Jen Folse declared that the cable box “is becoming a thing of the past.”

Her reasoning was that as more and more programming arrives on your television through Internet-based streaming, the trusty steel box that has brought us TV joy for decades won’t be needed anymore.

Many analysts disagree, or at least deem Apple’s prediction decidedly premature. Cable companies still use boxes – often in tandem with services like Apple TV or Roku – and boxes are necessary for most DVR services. By the millions, they’ll be part of our home entertainment centers for a long time to come.

Nonetheless, as equipment wears out or is supplanted by improved technology, old cable boxes head to the retirement home. That’s us.

At Echo Environmental’s warehouse in Carrollton, Texas, our teams dismantle the boxes and process the components. Hard drives are wiped clean of any data, circuit boards are recycled to recover precious metals, and the steel casings are shredded for reuse. All that recovers value for our clients and helps the environment by utilizing resources over and over again.

This video of the process may not be quite as enticing as the programming your cable box brings in, but it’s still worth a look.