Using standards to promote the reuse of rare earth materials

Read the full story from U.S. EPA.

Rare earths are a key material used in hard disk drives used in servers. Mining of rare earths has significant impacts on water and soil quality, generates waste, and requires energy use. Reusing rare earths can help reduce the impacts of mining as well as increase the resiliency and security of the United States by ensuring access to these materials for new products. The U.S. government has indicated its interest in increasing recycling of rare earths and other critical minerals in EO 14017 (America’s Supply Chains). EPA initiated development of criteria to include in NSF/ANSI 426 addressing these issues. EPA conducted outreach to and collaborated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Critical Materials Institute, Seagate (a major disk drive manufacturer), the Global Electronics Council (GEC), and other experts, encouraging them to participate in an NSF task group that would explore options and develop criteria for possible inclusion in NSF/ANSI 426.

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