For Immediate Release
Kathleen Goldstein, 202-841-0295
New Resolution Calls on Congress to Lead by Example in Handling Its E-Waste
SAN FRANCISCO - Representative Mike Thompson yesterday introduced a resolution that
calls on Congress to craft a plan to deal with its own e-waste, only
using recyclers certified to the new e-Stewards Standard - the highest
in the industry.
"In choosing to work only with certified e-Stewards, Congress is saying
they want to be sure their old computers and other electronic products
don't end up being exported to developing nations, or sent to prison
recycling shops," said Barbara Kyle, National Coordinator of the
Electronics TakeBack Coalition. "We are very pleased to see Congress
lead by example in solving the problem of global e-waste dumping."
The resolution (H.Res. 938) calls for Congress to establish and
implement "a coordinated program for the reuse, recycling, and
appropriate disposal of obsolete computers and other electronic
equipment used by offices of the legislative branch using only those
companies independently certified as meeting the e-Stewards Standard
for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment, which
forbids the export of e-waste to developing countries and use of prison
"As consumers of electronic equipment, we are all faced with the real
choice of becoming part of the e-waste problem or being part of the
solution," said Jim Puckett, Executive Director of the Basel Action
Network (BAN), a global watchdog on toxic waste trade. "Congress,
informed by the horrific pictures of Chinese and African children
wandering through heaps of toxic e-waste from the U.S., has recognized
this choice as a principled and practical one. This bipartisan
resolution to use only e-Steward Recyclers, shows Congress wants to be
part of the solution."
The e-Stewards program includes both the rigorous new ‘gold standard'
for electronics recyclers and asset managers, as well as verification
system, where only accredited, third-party auditors can certify whether
recyclers are meeting the standard. The standard is currently held by
the Basel Action Network, but was developed in collaboration with
leaders in the recycling, auditing, occupational health, data security,
and manufacturing industries as well as from the accredited third party
There is little federal regulation of the recycling industry and most
e-waste exports from the U.S. do not violate any U.S. laws. Therefore,
responsible companies in this industry who wish to distinguish
themselves can now become certified to the new standard which require
them to handle electronic and hazardous waste responsibly in a manner
that protects the environment and the social and health and safety
concerns of the workforce, throughout the recycling chain around the
world. This is the only e-waste recycling standard that prohibits the
export of e-waste from developed to developing nations.
E-waste is the fastest growing part of the waste stream in the U.S. But
of the e-waste that is collected by recyclers, 50 to 80 percent of that
is not actually recycled, but is exported to developing nations where
it is handled in very crude and dangerous ways that expose workers and
communities to toxic materials.
For more information:
Link to the resolution: http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/
Link to e-Stewards page: http://www.e-stewards.org/
Electronics TakeBack Coalition: http://www.