RIOS: It pays to get certified

By: Robin Wiener
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc.

April 5, 2013

Across the industry, more and more recycling facilities are turning to certification to show their customers, competitors and peers that they are committed to the highest standards in the industry.

The Recycling Industry Operating Standard is the only management system standard developed for and by the recycling industry to promote responsible practices and a positive image of recyclers that process all types of end-of-life, obsolete, and used materials. From paper and metals to plastics, RIOS certification by accredited, third-party auditors provides assurance that a RIOS-certified facility is operating at the highest-quality environmental, health and safety standards.

Besides doing the right thing, facilities that achieve RIOS certification often realize improved performance and profitability. With certification, facilities are able to fine-tune operations and streamline processing. In addition to creating a safer environment for workers, leading to lower injury-related costs, RIOS also helps facilities produce better-quality commodities with lower environmental impact, gaining a prof­­itable return on investment.

Since 1950, global production of plastics has grown an average of 9 percent annually and shows no sign of slowing. Recycling of plastics is needed now more than ever. RIOS certification provides assurance that you are recycling in an environmentally safe man­ner and contributing to the millions of tons of plastic recycled annually.

Certification assures your international customers they are receiving quality materials processed in a facility with the highest standards.

Certification also provides new opportunities for recyclers as customers increasingly demand that facilities meet top standards. RIOS certification provides assur-

ance that your facility is meeting those standards by incorporating the essential quality, environmental, and health and safety requirements — also found in ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001, respectively — into one comprehensive management system. RIOS certification also allows recyclers to seamlessly enter international markets, as it is globally accepted and adheres to Basel Convention requirements.

From April 9-13, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries will host its annual convention. This year's focus will be certification. An increasing number of recycling facilities are committing to responsible recycling through voluntary certification, and the trend will continue. It is time to focus on increased accountability, responsibility and profitability. It's time to be RIOS-certified.

Robin Wiener is president of the Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc., which implements the RIOS certification program.