Tennessee-based TERRA Launches Electronics Recycling Initiative Employing Adults with Autism

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Tennessee-based TERRA, (The Electronics Reuse & Recycling Alliance) is turning retired laptops and tablets into high-quality training and jobs for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through its Devices for Autism initiative. The program, offering free mail-in laptop and tablet recycling, employs adults with autism at certified recyclers for the safe disassembly of these electronics, data destruction and recovery of reusable materials.

The program currently accepts devices from eight states: Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“TERRA is committed to providing simple, secure and sustainable electronic recycling solutions addressing the growing problem of e-waste,” said Steven Napoli, TERRA President and CEO. “The Devices for Autism initiative allows us to focus on this objective while also providing an opportunity for individuals with Autism to pursue meaningful careers.”

Additionally, the program offers a number of other benefits, including promoting inclusivity and diversity in the workplace and creating skill enhancement opportunities.

“The Devices for Autism program promotes independence and self-sufficiency for individuals with autism, but also helps to reduce unemployment rates, break down stigmas about autism and shapes a more inclusive, equitable and compassionate society.”

Several organizations are partnering with TERRA on the Devices for Autism initiative, including Electronics Recycling Solutions (ERS), Health Connect America and Evercycle. Device program devices processors like ERS are required to maintain either an e-Stewards and/or R2 Certification for processing used electronics and meet strict criteria for data destruction, passing extensive and ongoing third-party auditing to ensure that their data destruction processes are effective and secure.

“When it comes to electronics recycling, certification matters,” said Napoli. “Only certified facilities comply with the rigorous standards that ensure electronics are refurbished and recycled in a sustainable manner.”

TERRA represents the largest network of certified recyclers in North America dedicated to protecting the environment, creating a circular economy and combating climate change. This is done through diverting used electronics to the care of responsible and transparent e-Stewards and R2 Certified providers to maximize the sustainable reuse and recycling of natural resources.

Electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world with millions of electrical and electronic devices thrown away annually. E-waste accounts for 70% of the toxic substances entering landfills and illegal dump sites.

“The improper disposal of electronics not only represents a waste of valuable resources, but can also release toxins into the environment,” said Napoli.

Those interested in recycling a laptop or tablet through Devices for Autism may visit devicesforautism.com and click the “Give a Device” link to generate a free Fed-Ex ground shipping label to be used to mail in the device to be recycled.

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