Beware Sham “E-Cyclers”

This former farmer in China is picking chips off circuit boards by bathing them in acid. Photo: Basel Action Network

Several recent reports have put the spotlight on an issue TCE Fund has been working on since 2002: real, responsible recycling for electronic waste. Unfortunately, the majority of obsolete electronics said to be recycled in America is actually exported and dumped in developing nations across the globe! Discovery News has more:

“Recycling your electronic waste is a noble idea, but here’s the dirty little secret: even if you drop off your old electronics for recycling, it may never get recycled. As OSNews’ Howard Fosdick describes, some people fall victim to a scam called ‘fake recycling,’ and just describing it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

Fake recyclers are organizations that approach well-meaning community groups like the Boy Scouts or the Make-a-Wish Foundation to help run a local ‘Recycling Day.’ The idea is that people from the community will bring in their old electronics to the legitimate organization’s Recycling Day event. The fake recycler will then haul that e-waste away, and export it to another country with lax environmental regulations.

The crazy thing is that none of this is illegal, but it’s definitely destroying the environment.”

We couldn’t agree more. If an American company claims to be recycling our old electronics, they shouldn’t be allowed to simply ship the toxic waste to poor, developing nations for a quick buck — they should actually be recycling it. Even people who don’t typically consider themselves environmental advocates should agree we need truth in advertising.

For a fool-proof list of certified, responsible electronics recyclers near you, visit the e-Stewards website.


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