The term “e-waste” is loosely applied to consumer and business electronic equipment that is near or at the end of its useful life. When companies send their e-waste to be recycled, just like when we drop off our old phones in a box, they expect it to be, well, recycled. Can you blame them?
An alarming portion of the time this is not actually the case. The Basel Action Network did a study called the e-Trash Transparency Project that used GPS trackers to follow e-waste over the course of two years. Unfortunately, there are more holes in the circular economy than we think.
In fact, forty percent of all US electronic recyclers included in the study proved to be complete shams. E-waste is getting exported wholesale to landfills in Hong Kong, China, and developing nations in Africa and Asia with weak environmental protections.
BAN followed the GPS signals to dump sites in Hong Kong and Pakistan. These foreign junkyards hire low-wage employees to pick through the few valuable components of toxic, old electronics. The trackers led them to sights where workers were seen breaking the equipment down without protection. Protective gear prevents toxic mercury from LCD backlights or toxic toner dust from being inhaled.
The electronics are then dumped into e-waste landfills. These electronic recycling companies claiming to have a “zero landfill goal” are blatantly lying to customers and damaging the earth.
Recycle your e-waste with a company you can trust. Echo Environmental complies with all applicable Federal, EPA, state, and local regulations. We are passionate about our social responsibility to accomplish this with the strictest environmental standards.
Our R2 certification is just the beginning of our commitment to setting the industry standard for sustainability, stewardship, and preservation of the environment. The BAN study found that companies with an R2 certification export raw e-waste at a higher rate than those companies that have no certification at all.
Recycling e-waste is good for your business, and good for the planet. And we do it right!