The Recycling Industry Operating Standard™ (RIOS™) is the only global recycling industry management system standard for quality, environment, health, and safety (QEH&S).
Getting started with RIOS™ is easy. Step 1 is to make the important commitment to running a healthy, safe, environmentally-responsible facility. Step 2, is to fill out the RIOS™ Membership Application, which will give a licensed copy of the standard, the RIOS™ Implementation Guide, and access to the RIOS™ webinars, videos, and network of individuals who are willing to help you when you get stuck. If you have questions, please contact Darrell Kendall, RIOS™ Executive Director, 202-662-8528.
In order to complete the RIOS™ certification process, a facility must prove that they are a member of RIOS™ in good standing. To verify this, RIOS™ will produce an annual, facility-specific certificate of membership. This certificate will verify to your auditor that you are in good standing and can be RIOS™ certified. If you did not receive your current certificate of membership, please contact Amy Sailor, RIOS™ Membership Manager, 202-662-8535, to request a replacement. Only Certification Track members will receive a membership certificate.
RIOS™ is a 3rd party audited system that is accredited through ANAB. When your system is nearing full implementation, it is recommended that the facility contact the certification body to schedule their audits. The initial RIOS™ certification audit is a two part process. A stage 1 audit is a document review. The auditor will be on site, and will look to be sure that all of the necessary documentation is in place. They may make some recommendations for improvement by issuing non-conformances. Once those have been addressed, the auditor will come back to the facility for the Stage 2 audit. During this process, the auditor will ensure that procedures are being followed, employees are properly trained, and that the operation is in full compliance with the requirements of the RIOS™ Standard.
There are currently three certification bodies that are able to provide RIOS™ Audits. A complete and up-to-date list can be found here.
Audit times for recycling facilities are defined within the RIOS Certification Program. Total time is determined by the number of employees within a facility, along with the complexity and risk of the operations performed at the facility. For a list of audit times, you can review the RIOS Certification Program document, or contact one of the accredited certification bodies.
It depends. The easiest way to understand that cost of certification is to think about three primary costs:
RIOS™ is designed in such a way that a facility can become certified without using a consultant. That having been said, companies often hire consultants to help them through the process. If there is a clear deadline for being certified, if financial resources are more plentiful than time available for staff, or if the company is interested in getting professional guidance through the process, then a consultant should be considered.
Consultants can provide a wide range of services at a wide range of prices. From providing a framework with deadlines to a full implementation, the options are endless. Keep in mind that a management system is a living tool that is constant, cyclical development. No matter what route you choose to take, it is important that the person(s) that will be managing the system understand it and the process fully.
You can find a RIOS™ certified facility in your area by searching our database of certified recyclers here.
It is always a good idea to confirm that a facility is currently certified to RIOS™. You can also ask a facility that is not listed on the RIOS™ map as “certified” if they are pursuing RIOS™. In many cases, facilities are working toward certification, but have not completed it. While the goal is for the company to obtain certification, their membership and their effort toward completing the certification is a positive indication that the facility is committed to doing the right thing.
A safer, stronger, more sustainable recycling industry is everyone’s responsibility. Whether you are taking a pick-up load of scrap to your local scrap yard, or you represent a Fortune 100 company that needs complete IT asset disposition services. You can ask the question “are you a certified recycler?” Or do you have an Environmental and Health Safety Management System in place?
RIOS is designed for, and has been implemented by recyclers of all commodities: Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals, Paper, Plastic, Tire and Rubber, and the full range of Electronics recyclers, refurbished, and repair facilities. RIOS has been adopted by a larger number of recyclers due to pressures from customers, and requirements contained in other standards, like R2 and E-Stewards.
RIOS certification is recognized by a wide range of suppliers and customers in the recycling chain. In addition, a number of insurance companies recognize the importance and value of a QEHS management system. RIOS certified facilities have also benefited from having a management system in place when dealing with regulators, banks, and activists.
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Executive Director of RIOS™
Darrell is responsible for managing the overall direction and growth of RIOS™. He is also focused on elevating the RIOS™ certification program with stakeholders of the recycling industry. Lastly, Darrell is seeking new markets and regions of the world for RIOS™.
Membership Manager of RIOS™
Amy is responsible for managing all aspects of the RIOS™ membership experience. She organizes member relations, developments and overseas quality membership customer service. Amy strives to build sustainable relationships and trust with RIOS™ members through open and interactive communication.