Jim Puckett of BAN explains how his organization caught recyclers and manufacturers red-handed in fraudulent e-waste exports
“Nearly three decades ago, the United Nations wrote the Basel Convention, an international treaty designed to ban the exports of hazardous electronic waste into poor nations. The reason was simple: the UN wanted to stop the externalization and exploitation of the costs and harm of such waste.
“The United States, however, never ratified this treaty, leaving a hole in the procedures of international operations.
“Therefore, in 2009, a Seattle-based nonprofit called the Basel Action Network (BAN) developed an e-Stewards program to hold e-waste recyclers to a high standard of responsibility when disposing of old, hazardous electronics. The program prohibits participants from exporting toxic materials or disposing of the waste in landfills or incinerators. In the time that the e-Stewards certification process has been available to recyclers, dozens upon dozens of companies have been certified to take action on responsible recycling and demonstrate proper ways to get rid of mounting e-waste.
“Or at least that’s the intention.
“Due to continuously falling commodity prices on materials such as copper and steel, electronics recycling — like most other recycling — is struggling. Recyclers are laying employees off. Some are closing facilities. All are seeking a more hopeful future.
“E-waste recycling is also burdened by a lack of regulation on the state and federal level. leaving states the power to decide how the waste is handled, if they even decide. There are 22 states without e-waste recycling laws, creating opportunities for illegal dumping and improper recycling operations — like exportation.”
We fully support the efforts of Basel Action Network (BAN) in catching the miscreants that illegally transport e-waste out of our country.
Read full article at: http://www.wastedive.com/news/tracking-the-international-journey-of-the-united-states-deadly-e-waste/419056/