We wanted to give a great big THANK YOU to everyone who came out for our ethical electronics recycling event this weekend, especially our hardworking volunteers. We’ll be posting detailed coverage of the event shortly, but in the meantime, here are a few of your questions answered.
Many of the people who dropped off their electronics had questions and because we were so busy, we didn’t always get the chance to answer every question in as great detail as we might have wanted. Here is a brief recap that answers the most common questions we heard.
Our Ethical Electronics Recycling event was part of Christopher Swain’s TOXTOUR. On April 22, 2009, Christopher will begin a 1000-mile swim down the Atlantic coast to Washington, DC. Along the way, he will work with thousands of students and citizens to implement projects designed to improve the health of our ocean planet.
Several people mentioned they had seen a 60 Minutes expose that tracked e-waste that was shipped to China. We can assure you that not one scrap of e-waste you dropped off was shipped to a developing country or dumped in a landfill. Christopher works with several different recyclers in the United States that make sure nothing we collect is incinerated as solid waste, tipped into landfills or sent to developing countries where it can hurt people, animals and the environment. All of the recyclers used have signed the Basel Action Network‘s Pledge of True Stewardship [.pdf]. Here is some more information on the Basel Action Network from the very same 60 Minutes piece:
In an ideal world, all municipalities would guarantee that electronic waste is recycled ethically. However, that is not the current reality. This means that we have to pay to get our e-waste recycled in an ethical manner. If that makes you angry, contact your representatives to push for ethical recycling in your area. And please don’t stop at the local level: As of now, unlike the 27 countries in the European Union, the United States has not passed legislation providing a national system to finance and responsibly deal with toxic e-waste.
To find a certified ethical recycler in your area, see the Basel Action Network’s “Find Your Local e-Stewards.”
And be sure to check back here for more information on our VERY SUCCESSFUL event!