Success Stories Highlight Efforts to Reduce Toxic Pollution in Developing Countries

The Blacksmith Institute for a Pure Earth, Green Cross Switzerland, and Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) have published a new report, “Top Ten Countries Turning the Corner on Toxic Pollution,” as part of their annual ‘World’s Worst Polluted’ series to raise global awareness about the extent and the impacts of toxic pollution in low- and middle-income countries.

The report revisits the countries featured in a 2009 report, “12 Cases of Cleanup and Success” for inspiration and highlights the commitment and progress developing countries are making in overcoming toxic pollution. In these areas, pollution kills 8.4 million people each year, most of them children, and an estimated 200 million people suffer serious pollution-related health problems, including brain damage, from exposure to lead, mercury, pesticides and a host of other chemicals.

The cities and their stories shared within the report demonstrate that in spite of numerous obstacles and lack of resources, with collaboration and commitment, something can always be done to begin to improve even the most polluted areas. Below are summaries of three success stories featured in the report:

Agbogbloshie, Ghana

E-waste recycling is an important source of income for the thousands in Agbogbloshie, Ghana. Their methods, including burning of electronic scrap to recover prized metals, particularly copper, had taken a dreadful toll on the health of the people and the environment. Now wire-stripping machines eliminate burning of e-waste and offer a safer, healthier way to extract the metals.

Thiaroye Sur Mer, Senegal

Acute lead poisoning, a rare condition caused by prolonged daily exposure to lead, took the lives of 18 young children in a matter of months. The women of the community had been breaking used lead-acid batteries and smelting the lead to extract it for resale. Lead fumes and dust contaminated the community killing children and impairing the health of others. Project partners and funders, along with the Senegalese government, not only removed lead contamination from the village, but also trained the women in hydroponic agriculture as an alternative means of income to this toxic work.

Montevideo, Uruguay

Low-income workers in Montevideo burn electronic waste and electrical cables to obtain copper for resale. By burning e-waste over open pit fires they created “toxic hotspots” in their own communities, sites where contamination from heavy metals and other toxins are so high, it is a danger to human health. The GAHP teamed up with the City of Montevideo to identify and clean up some of the worst toxic hotspots of the city.

For the full report and more information on these and other stories, visit www.worstpolluted.org

While these stories highlight some of the recent successes in cleaning up pollution in these areas, it is important to remember that there is still a long way to go in repairing the damage and preventing the root causes of this contamination. To ensure your electronics do not get exported overseas and further contaminate developing countries, partner with an e-Stewards certified recycler. e-Stewards’ recyclers adhere to the most stringent, global standards for recycling e-waste and worker protection. e-Stewards is the only certification that strictly prohibits the exportation of toxic e-waste to developing countries.

————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button

200 Million Threatened from e-Waste – World’s Worst Polluted Places in 2013

E-waste endangers 40,000 based on new study

More than 200 million people worldwide are at risk from exposure to toxic pollution in developing countries, according to two environmental groups that recently published a list of the world’s most polluted places.

A U.S.-based environmental group, Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland published a top 10 list of the “World’s Worst Polluted Places” based on more than 2,000 risk assessments at contaminated sites in 49 countries. This is the first report of its kind since 2007.

Six years ago, Chinese and Indian areas dominated the list, but because of successful clean-up efforts, the two countries have completely evaded this year’s list.

The World’s Worst Polluted Places in 2013 (unranked)

  • Agbogbloshie Dumpsite, Ghana
  • Chernobyl, Ukraine*
  • Citarum River, Indonesia
  • Dzershinsk, Russia*
  • Hazaribagh, Bangladesh
  • Kabwe, Zambia*
  • Kalimantan, Indonesia
  • Matanza Riachuelo, Argentina
  • Niger River Delta, Nigeria
  • Norilsk, Russia*

*Included in the original 2006 or 2007 lists

Agbogbloshie, located in Ghana’s capital, was a new addition to the list. It is the second largest e-waste processing area in West Africa, importing about 215,000 tons of e-waste from abroad each year. This number is expected to double by 2020, according to the report.

The composition of electronic waste requires a high level of skill and resources to recycle it safely. E-waste processors in Agbogbloshie are threatening the public health by burning cables to recover the copper inside. The toxic metals, such as lead, contained in these cables can migrate through smoke and can seep into the soil.

In Agbogbloshie, soil samples show concentrations of lead that are 45 times greater than the acceptable level. The report gives a conservative estimate of the people affected as more than 40,000; however, they believe a more in-depth analysis would show that as many as 250,000 individuals may be at risk.

To ensure your electronics do not get exported overseas and further contaminate developing countries, partner with an e-Stewards certified recycler. e-Stewards’ recyclers adhere to the most stringent, global standards for recycling e-waste and worker protection. e-Stewards is the only certification that strictly prohibits the exportation of toxic e-waste to developing countries.

————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button

 

Adoption of E-Waste Legislation in the U.S. Declines in 2013

E-waste related bills accounted for more than 10 percent of all U.S. recycling and solid waste bills introduced in 2013; however, this year marks the first time in 10 years that no major state legislation surrounding e-waste was passed, according to Resource Recycling.

From 2003 to 2011, at least one state each year adopted comprehensive legislation surrounding e-waste recycling. A total of 26 states have created statewide e-waste programs since 2003. Click here to view a map of the states that have passed zero landfill related to specific technologies.

The only e-waste bills that passed in 2013 were incremental updates to existing programs. In 2012, Colorado passed a bill to ban electronics from entering landfills and directed state agencies to recycle all electronics. This legislation took effect in 2013, but comparable legislation was not passed this year.

E-Waste Legislation Passed in 2013

  • Assembly Bill 1459 was passed in New Jersey, which amends its electronics recycling law to waive manufacturing fees if less than 100 televisions are sold annually. Also, all manufacturers are permitted to roll over up to 25 percent of their TV collection obligation to the next program year.
  • Washington updated its e-waste program to include reporting requirements through House Bill 1498. The state also passed Senate Bill 5699, which exempts electronics licensors from participating in its stewardship program.
  • Mississippi does not have an e-waste program, but it did pass Senate Bill 2754, requiring the state Department of Environmental Quality to maintain a directory of R2 and e-Stewards certified recyclers in the state and requiring state agencies to use these certified recyclers to manage their e-waste.

There is currently no federal legislation in the U.S. that mandates the recycling of e-waste. Environmental responsibility is currently left in the hands of state governments to ban the disposal of e-waste into landfills. However, many e-waste bills are being left in limbo until after the New Year because state legislatures are now in recess or adjourned.

The EPA estimates that 70 to 80 percent of electronics recycling companies export toxic e-waste overseas for profit. Much of the e-waste exported ends up in landfills and poisons the environment and people.

To ensure e-waste is disposed of in a responsible manner, it is recommended that businesses and consumers recycle their used mobile devices and other e-waste with an e-Stewards electronics recycler. e-Stewards certified recyclers adhere to the highest global standards for reuse and recycling of electronic equipment and environmental protection. Learn more at http://www.e-Stewards.org.

————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button

Is Your Business Adopting the New Apple iPhone 5s or 5c? Eight Tips Choosing a Buyback Partner When Selling Your Mobile Phones

What happens to your mobile devices when it’s time to upgrade to a newer device like the Apple iPhone 5s or 5c? Retired mobile phones retain confidential information even after restoring the factory settings. Choosing a trusted asset recovery, data protection and recycling partner for your organization is critical.

Tips for maintaining a sustainable, secure and profitable Apple iPhone reuse and recycling program:

1. Know EVERYTHING about your buyback and recycling partner. Investigate every aspect your recycler’s process. Make certain their downstream partners are also conducting their business practices in an environmentally responsible manner.

2. Do not completely trust your employees or third-party software with data deletion. Our operations department found that 27% of devices received from clients who had pre-wiped their mobile phones still contained sensitive information. Be certain your iPhone buyback company has rigorous processes in place to permanently remove the data on every device and quality assurance testing.

3. Read the FINE PRINT in regards to data wiping and security. There are multiple iPhone buyback and recycling companies claiming “complete data deletion and protection.” However, if you take the time to read their terms and conditions, most will state that it is the responsibility of the customer to delete their own data. Work with a company that understands iPhone specific data wiping processes, has quality assurance practices and high-security facilities.

4. Be skeptical of extremely high buyback pricing. Research what deductions are taken for minor cosmetic flaws. Since many buyback companies resell on eBay, they take significant price reductions for even the smallest cosmetic flaws after quoting a higher price. Try to find a company that will grade only on the operability of the iPhone.

5. Be sure your active lines are canceled. Of the thousands of wireless devices tested by e-Cycle’s data security department, approximately 2% still have active phone lines. Not only is this a security risk, it often results in substantial and unnecessary carrier service charges. Be sure your wireless recycling company tests for active lines.

6. A “destroy only” policy is bad for the environment and your bottom line. Extending the use of an iPhone from 18 months to four years saves 20% more energy than recycling alone. Data security is a serious issue, but a destroy-only policy harms the environment and the opportunity to reclaim revenues that can be used to greatly offset the cost of upgrading to the newest mobile technologies.

7. Make certain your logistics are in place. Be certain that your employees understand the importance of mobile recycling as part of your green initiatives. Work with a recycling partner that can offer personal support to assist your team in maintaining a successful program.

8. Measure your environmental impact. Work with a recycling company that will help your organization measure its positive impact on the environment through your recycling efforts. By measuring and reporting your positive impact on your community, you’ll have the information that you need to report and celebrate the successes of your sustainability initiatives.

In summary, wireless phones that are not properly retired may expose confidential data when they are resold on the secondary market. Every organization should have an official asset recovery and recycling plan in place to ensure the greatest return on their telecom investment, while protecting the environment and their sensitive information.

—————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button

 

E-waste’s Harmful Effects on African Laborers

For developing countries in areas such as West Africa, local workers often view e-waste processing as a lifeline. It’s a means to secure a meager amount of income to help keep food on the table. Often children and the elderly are used to abstract precious metals from discarded mobile phones, computers, monitors, wires and other electronic waste.  However, most are unaware of the harmful effects that improper e-waste handling has on their health.

Unfortunately, these countries do not have the resources necessary to safely dispose of e-waste so the lives of these laborers are being put at risk. Primitive methods like burning or washing with hydrochloric acid are used in these regions to dismantle e-waste to recover precious metals. Research shows that these methods are extremely harmful to human health and toxic to the environment.

E-waste contains highly toxic concentrations of chemicals and heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium. When these toxins accumulate in our food chain through soil and groundwater, the effects can be deadly.

The problem is worsened by developed nations that regularly export their toxic e-waste by the tons to these developing countries who are not equipped or trained to properly handle the toxic materials. Currently, there is no legislation in the U.S. that bans such practices, but the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act has been reintroduced into Congress.

This makes it imperative to choose an e-Stewards certified electronics recyclers when disposing old cell phones and other end-of-life electronic devices. e-Stewards recyclers and their downstream vendors adhere to the most stringent global standards for worker safety and environmental protection. E-Stewards certified recyclers are regularly audited to ensure no e-waste is sent to landfills or exported to developing countries. The certification also prohibits the use of slave, coerced or prison labor in the processing e-waste.

—————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button

e-Cycle Applauds Iron Mountain’s Pledge to Responsibly Manage E-Waste by Utilizing e-Stewards Electronics Recyclers

e-Cycle congratulates Iron Mountain, a storage and information management company, on their e-Stewards® Enterprise designation. The company has responded to the world’s fastest-growing pollution problem – improperly recycled or disposed of e-waste – with a pledge to use only e-Stewards certified recyclers and help their customers do the same.

“Leaders lead, and Iron Mountain has demonstrated that the status quo situation where electronic waste is routinely dumped in developing countries or our local landfills is just not acceptable anymore,” said Jim Puckett, executive director of BAN.

e-Stewards Enterprises are organizations that commit to utilizing e-Stewards certified recyclers, wherever possible. e-Stewards recyclers and their downstream vendors are continually audited to validate that they uphold the highest global standards for environmental protection and social responsibility.

More than 70 environmental groups worldwide have endorsed the e-Stewards Standard, including Greenpeace, the National Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club. To learn more about the e-Stewards certification, visit www.e-Stewards.org or our e-Stewards information page.

—————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button

The New School is the First Northeast University Acknowledged as e-Stewards Enterprise

e-Cycle applauds The New School of New York City for being the first educational institution in the Northeast to become an e-Stewards® Enterprise. Their pledge to manage e-waste appropriately and use recyclers that are certified to the e-Stewards standards.

The e-Stewards Enterprise designation provides recognition of organizations that dispose of their electronics properly by utilizing e-Stewards certified recyclers.

The e-Stewards Standard prohibits e-waste dumping in municipal landfills and the export of e-waste to developing countries. Both of which can cause catastrophic harm to the environment and health of local residents. It also ensures worker protection and enforces strict rules for data security. The e-Stewards Standard is the only certification to encompass and strictly enforce all these essential components.

The EPA estimates that 70 to 80 percent of electronics recyclers in the U.S. either directly or indirectly sell non-functional electronic components to companies that export toxic e-waste overseas for a profit. To achieve e-Stewards certification, electronics recyclers and their downstream vendors are rigorously audited to ensure only fully-functional devices are sold for reuse and all other devices and accessories are recycled in the most environmentally responsible way possible.

—————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button

Everything you need to know about the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (RERA)

The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (RERA) was reintroduced into Congress on July 24 with bipartisan support. The legislation seeks to prohibit the exportation of untested and nonfunctional electronics to developing nations where improper disposal may create environmental, health or national security risks.

Restrictions on e-waste exports could create up to 42,000 new jobs with a total payroll of more than $1 billion, according to a study by the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling. The U.S. International Trade Committee also reported that the RERA would help increase U.S. exports and create jobs.

Electronic waste like cell phones, computers and TVs are now the fastest growing waste stream in the U.S, with more than 3.4 million tons being generated each year according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Unfortunately, it is common practice for “recyclers” like Executive Recycling to export electronics to developing countries. The Government Accountability Office reported that many developing nations do not have the resources to safely recycle and dispose of used electronics. Improper recycling can have catastrophic effects on the environment and the health of residents.

If enacted, the RERA would create a new section in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act that prohibits the export of restricted electronic waste from the U.S. to countries that are not members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development or the European Union. Restricted electronic equipment is defined as those that are not fully functional, have not been tested or contain toxic materials at levels greater than those specified as non-hazardous by the EPA. The legislation will allow the exportation of:

  • Tested and working parts and devices for reuse
  • Processed and cleaned CRT glass being exported to a CRT glass manufacturing plant, in countries that allow it
  • Warranty repairs
  • Product recalls
  • Products containing toxins below the hazardous level

Exporting e-waste to places like China can also create national security risks. Chips from exported electronics have become a primary resource for counterfeiters, who sell them as “military grade” into the U.S. defense supply chain, according to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition.

RERA also seeks to establish a research program at the Department of Energy to study the recycling and recovery of rare Earth metals from electronics. This will help to ensure the proper collection and recycling of precious metals.

—————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button

e-Cycle Wireless Recycling Receives Best in Biz International Gold Award for Most Socially/Environmentally Responsible Company of the Year

e-Cycle is honored to be named the gold winner in the Most Socially/Environmentally Responsible Company of the Year category in the Best in Biz Awards 2013 International. e-Cycle also earned a silver award for Enterprise Service of the Year.

e-Cycle received these prestigious recognitions for its industry leading cell phone and tablet buyback and recycling services that are known and trusted by top enterprises and organizations throughout the world. e-Cycle is e-Stewards certified and adheres to the highest environmental and safety standards for recycling wireless devices. e-Cycle protects its clients data by utilizing rigorous, multi-step data deletion and quality assurance testing.

Winning the gold award for the Most Socially or Environmentally/Responsible Company and silver award for Enterprise Service of the Year goes to the heart of e-Cycle’s mission to provide easy, profitable and responsible solutions for our clients to secure their data, recover wireless assets and safeguard the environment.

A panel of 43 judges from 18 countries representing top-tier news, business, finance and technology publications and media outlets determined winners of Best in Biz Awards 2013 International.

Best in Biz is an independent business awards program that recognizes top companies, teams, executives and products for their business successes as judged by established members of the press and industry analysts. More than 150 public and private companies from more than 25 countries competed in Best in Biz Awards’ International’s inaugural program.

For a full list of Best in Biz Awards 2013 International gold, silver and bronze winners, visit http://intl.bestinbizawards.com/intl-2013-winners.

—————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button

 

 

e-Waste Recycling Laws in the United States and Stopping the Export of E-Waste by Utilizing e-Stewards Certified Recyclers

There is currently no federal legislation in the U.S. that mandates the recycling of e-waste. Some states in the U.S. allow businesses and individuals to throw their used electronics in the trash; however, many states are beginning to mandate environmental responsibility by banning the disposal of e-waste into landfills.

Colorado recently became the 18th state to ban e-waste from entering landfills and incinerators and several states are working to pass new laws and improve existing laws.

States that Banned e-waste from Landfills

View E-Waste Zero Landfill Laws in the United States in a larger map

While the states that have adopted e-waste regulations should be commended, there is still room for improvement. The EPA reports that 142,000 computers and more than 416,000 mobile devices are discarded every day. In 2010, only 27% of e-waste in the U.S. was recycled, with mobile devices being the least recycled item at 11%.

The Electronics Takeback Coalition reported ten ways we can improve our current legislation to increase collection volumes and address potential issues. These best practices are based on comparing states’ laws and their recycling results.

  1. Make it convenient and establish collection goals
  2. Encourage a variety of collection types
  3. Include clear and high expectations for performance
  4. Set minimum recycling goals, not goals that act as a ceiling
  5. Make sure rural areas aren’t neglected
  6. Include a landfill ban
  7. Require all processors and refurbishers to be e-Stewards certified
  8. Do not discourage legitimate reuse
  9. Include a broad scope of products for free recycling
  10. Transparency and reporting

It is recommended to choose an e-Stewards recycler because not all recyclers recycle e-waste in a legal and responsible manner. The e-Stewards certification makes it simple to identify recyclers that adhere to the highest global standards for environmental responsibility and worker protection.—————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button