The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sarah Westervelt (206) 652-5555,
Contact at ANAB: Penny Gamache:  800-606-5394, ext. 7275,

ANAB Announces Accreditation for Ethical e-Stewards Electronics Recycling Certification

First Certification to halt the Exportation of e-Waste to Developing Countries


Basel Action Network (BAN) joined the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation
Board (ANAB) today in announcing the launch of ANAB accreditation for
the certifying bodies that will audit and certify the e-Stewards
Certification program. At the heart of the new e-Stewards
Certification is an ethical 'gold standard' for responsible electronic
equipment recycling - the only such standard that will finally put a
stop to the export of toxic electronic waste to developing countries;
the use of prison and child labor; and the dumping of toxic materials
into our local landfills. ANAB provides accreditation to certifying
bodies for many ISO standards and now has expanded their scope to
include the e-Stewards Certification program which is fully integrated
with the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard.

e-Stewards Standard provides true accountability for responsible
disposal of electronic waste, and with ANAB's oversight of the
certification program, we intend to provide the consumer confidence and
value," Randy Dougherty, ANAB Vice President, said.

warmly welcome the vote of confidence from North America's leading
accreditation body and their recognition of the need for a rigorous and
ethical certification that consumers can use to finally be assured that
their old computers will not end up poisoning children in China or
Africa, nor contaminate our own groundwater here at home," said Sarah Westervelt, BAN's e-Stewardship Program Director.

After years of frustration while contributing to multi-stakeholder
standards development with the U.S. EPA and others, BAN realized that
entrenched special interests would never agree to more than the lowest
common denominator standards that would unfortunately fail to serve the
marketplace of responsible customers and would even continue to allow
practices that violate the laws of importing countries. So last year,
BAN decided to work independently with the best electronics
manufacturers, recyclers, asset recovery companies, refiners, and
experts to define a rigorous but practical global standard with
environmental, social, and occupational parameters to finally solve the
"e-waste anarchy."

Last fall, CBS's 60 Minutes
program featured BAN and highlighted the rampant practice of sham
recyclers exporting toxic e-waste to Guiyu, China rather than ethically
recycling it. In China, this highly poisonous waste was processed by
impoverished workers using primitive technologies that produce in heavy
contamination: for example, children in Guiyu have lead levels in their
blood 80% higher than in control populations.

continues to urge consumers to use the e-Steward recyclers. Just last
week, BAN exposed another fake recycler that duped the Humane Society
in a Pittsburgh, PA into sponsoring a free public e-waste collection
event that promised local recycling. Instead, the company, while
posing as an ethical recycler, actualy exported the collected e-waste
to developing countries.

Jim Puckett, the
Executive Director of the Basel Action Network, observes "Corporate
customers demand responsible management of their electronic waste, but
they have often been duped by an industry that profits from a global
shell game of shunting wastes, American jobs and responsibility
offshore. E-Steward certification is the first and best independent
assurance that enterprise requirements will actually be met."

In addition to ANAB providing accreditation for the e-Stewards program,
SAI-Global will be providing auditor training for ANAB-accredited
e-Stewards certifying bodies. The certification is in the final stages
of development, with the Final Verification Phase about to begin,
resulting in the first accredited certifications in 2009 and a full
launch of the certification program to all comers in early 2010.

For more information:

About the e-Stewards Recyclers and Certification Program:

Recent research Report: The EarthECycle Pittsburgh Recycling Scam is available at

Photographs of unethical recycling available at

Basel Action Network's mission is to champion global environmental health and justice by ending toxic trade, catalyzing a toxics-free future, and campaigning for everyone's right to a clean environment.