The U.S. government is the world’s largest purchaser of information technology, yet doesn’t always dispose of its technology in responsible ways.
According to a GAO study, five agencies hand-picked due to the amount of electronics purchased — the departments of defence, Energy, Education, Housing and Urban Development and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — have the capacity to dispose of their technology in different ways.
Agencies can donate their electronics to schools; recycle them; exchange them with other federal, state or local governments and agencies; or sell them through specific public auctions.
According to the GAO study, in 2003 the EPA helped pilot a strictly voluntary program called the Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC) to encourage agencies to purchase environmentally-friendly electronic products, reduce the perceived impacts of these products during their use, and to manage the used electronics in an environmentally-friendly way.
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