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What are the requirements for managing printed circuit boards under the e-StewardsStandard?

A: Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are a common component of electronic waste and can contain a
range of hazardous substances, including heavy metals, flame retardants, and other chemicals of
concern. The e-Stewards Standard includes specific requirements for the management of PCBs
to ensure that they are handled and processed safely and responsibly. Key requirements include:

  1. Removal and segregation: PCBs must be removed from electronic devices and segregated
    from other waste streams to facilitate proper downstream management.
  2. Safe handling and storage: PCBs must be handled and stored in a manner that prevents
    releases and exposures to workers and the environment, including the use of appropriate
    containers and storage areas.
  3. Processing requirements: PCBs must be processed only in facilities that are properly
    licensed, permitted, and equipped to handle them safely and recover valuable materials,
    such as precious metals and copper.
  4. Restrictions on processing methods: The e-Stewards Standard prohibits the use of certain
    processing methods for PCBs, such as open burning, uncontrolled smelting, or informal
    processing, which can release hazardous substances and pose risks to workers and
  5. Downstream due diligence: Certified recyclers must conduct due diligence on
    downstream vendors involved in the processing of PCBs to ensure that they are operating
    in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and using best available
    technologies for material recovery and pollution control.
  6. Export restrictions: The export of PCBs is subject to the same restrictions as other
    hazardous electronic waste under the e-Stewards Standard, including the prohibition on
    exports to developing countries.
    By establishing strict requirements for the management of PCBs, the e-Stewards Standard aims
    to promote the safe and responsible recycling of these complex materials and prevent the release
    of hazardous substances into the environment.