NRDC Endorses New Certification for Safe, Ethical Electronic Waste Recycling

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Jim Puckett, Basel Action Network (206) 652-5555, jpuckett@ban.org


Kate Slusark, NRDC (212) 727-4592, kslusark@nrdc.org

NRDC Endorses New Certification for Safe, Ethical Electronic Waste Recycling

e-Steward® Recyclers Will Not Dump your e-Waste in Developing Countries

WASHINGTON - The
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) today announced its
endorsement of the first-ever certification program for electronics
recycling created jointly by the environmental community and business
leaders.   The new e-Stewards Certification and Standard, held by the
Basel Action Network (BAN), is seen as essential to stem the tide of
hazardous old computers, TVs, monitors and other electronic waste
currently flooding African and Asian countries such as Ghana, Nigeria,
India, Pakistan and China.   

Today, NRDC joins with BAN to call on all electronics recyclers to
become e-Steward  Certified recyclers and, secondly, asks all
businesses to become designated "e-Steward Enterprises" by agreeing to
give priority to e-Steward recyclers for their old electronic assets.

"This initiative is sorely needed," said NRDC Senior Scientist Dr. Allen Hershkowitz. "Many
e-waste recyclers claim to be green, but in reality they rely on unsafe
and ecologically damaging methods like dumping millions of tons of
toxic waste each year in China, India and Africa. E-Stewards provide
businesses and consumers with a first-of-a-kind seal to identify the
truly responsible recyclers."
 


In 2008, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report
roundly criticizing the US EPA for not doing more to promulgate and
enforce rules to control the e-waste trade.  Unfortunately, to date
little has changed and a market-based solution is seen as more
necessary than ever.

The e-Steward Certification is a fully accredited certification that
relies on independent, third-party auditors to verify safe and ethical
e-waste disposal. It is awarded to companies that recycle electronics
without using practices that far too many in U.S. electronics recycling
industry rely upon - the use of municipal landfills and incinerators,
the export to developing countries, or US prison labor for disposing of
toxic old electronics.  

Businesses that agree to make best efforts to use e-Steward recyclers
will be rewarded as designated e-Stewards Enterprises.   The first
global companies to receive these e-Steward Enterprise designations as
well as the first Certified e-Steward recyclers will be announced in
March.  Already there are about 50 North American recyclers that are
considered "Pledged e-Stewards" which have been vetted by BAN and are
licensed and committed to becoming certified in the next 18 months. 
These companies include some of the largest electronics recyclers in
North America.

 

For a complete list, go to: http://www.e-stewards.org/local_estewards.html
Due to the widespread fraudulent or unscrupulous exportation and
irresponsible practices now plaguing the electronics recycling
industry, consumers are urged to use only these Pledged e-Steward
recyclers.  

"NRDC recognized that we have finally created a principled yet
practical solution to e-waste recycling that environmentalists,
businesses and consumers can all embrace,"
said Jim Puckett, Executive Director of the Basel Action Network.  "We are thrilled to receive NRDC's coveted endorsement in the lead up to our global launch."

For more information visit: www.e-stewards.org

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The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

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