Accredited e-cycling program targeted

Nov 10, 2008 | 11:47 AM | David Brooks

Hot on the heels of a CBS Television documentary that blasted domestic electronics scrap recyclers for exporting hazardous waste to developing countries such as China, two groups have joined forces in an attempt to promote responsible handling of defunct electronic equipment.

The Basel Action Network (BAN) and the Electronics TakeBack Coalition said Monday that their e-Stewards program, which identifies responsible recyclers in North America, is to be developed into a full-scale certification scheme. It would be North America's first independently audited and accredited electronic waste recycler certification program, according to the two groups.

The program will forbid the dumping of toxic e-waste in developing countries, local landfills and incinerators; the use of prison labor to process e-waste; and the unauthorized release of private data contained in discarded computers.

BAN officials welcomed the 60 Minutes documentary, which highlighted one town in China that it said had become the recipient of large quantities of U.S. electronic waste. As a result, the town of Guiyu reportedly has a toxic water supply and unbreathable air, and children in the area suffer from high levels of lead in their blood. The CBS documentary tagged the town "a sort of Chernobyl of electronic waste."....

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