e-Stewards Announces Autism IMPACT Employment Program

estewards-impact-9-6-19The leading environmental standards organization for electronics recycling announces new program based on Blue Star Recyclers model of employment.


Seattle, WA — September 5, 2019.

Today, e-Stewards®, the ethical electronics recycling certification program, announced the launch of the e-Stewards +IMPACT program. +IMPACT is a workforce development program created to provide electronics recycling jobs for the often-overlooked community of people with autism and other disabilities, who have proven to be reliable and productive employees. The +IMPACT program will help prepare and match e-Stewards recyclers with this outstanding workforce.

Today one in five Americans is diagnosed with a disability, yet less than 20% participates in the US labor force. People with autism, a population representing 1 in 59 children in the US, struggle with even higher levels of unemployment despite their demonstrated aptitudes for most scopes of work involved in the recycling of electronics.


In 2020, the +IMPACT program, based on the successful e-Stewards Certified Blue Star Recyclers (Denver, CO) model, will provide training for 10 certified e-Stewards Recyclers to become +IMPACT e-Stewards, and thus providing job opportunities for people with autism and other disabilities. Those chosen for the program will receive a comprehensive training program from the nationally recognized expert James Emmett & Company, who has successfully developed workforce inclusion programs for Walgreens, Office Depot, Pepsico, and Best Buy.

“In our experience, people with autism and other disabilities represent a labor solution for our industry, which has struggled to acquire and retain entry level workers. For over ten years our employees have posted near-perfect occupational metrics for attendance, productivity, retention, and safety.” said Bill Morris, CEO of Blue Star Recyclers and a member of the e-Stewards Leadership Council.

Starting on October 1, interested e-Stewards Certified recyclers can apply to be a part of the program. Those chosen will be trained in workforce development and integration.The training program, valued at $30,000 each, will cost e-Stewards Recyclers only $2,000, as it is already underwritten by corporate foundation donors. In addition to onsite training, e-Stewards will receive a manual and have access to ongoing mentoring. For-profit recyclers may find they are eligible for government tax benefits.

“We now have a terrific new opportunity to equip the recycling industry with a superlative and uniquely talented workforce while providing new opportunities for meaningful employment for a largely underserved population,” said Bob Akers, e-Stewards Enterprise Director.

+IMPACT joins the e-Stewards Digital Equity (eDE) program in offering innovative opportunities for e-Stewards Recyclers to participate in social programs aiding their cities and communities. These programs enhance the e-Stewards bottom line directly while providing the world’s most ethical recyclers, with inspirational narratives and increased visibility.

Blue Star Recyclers Expanding to Illinois

Chicago Building

Blue Star Recyclers leased a new facility at 1387 Barclay Blvd. in Buffalo Grove, IL. We will open new recycling operations here in November 2019. This expansion was made possible through a grant from Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF), along with local support from Colliers International, Walgreens, and others.

Replicating the training and bridge to employment program started by Cherry Creek School District in Denver, Blue Star will work with school districts in the North and Northwest Chicago suburban areas to create employment paths for Special Education/Transitions students in the area.

MEAF Logo_2016_hi