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.

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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.

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Inc. Magazine’s Hire Power Awards Recognize e-Cycle for Job Creation

e-Cycle was ranked the #3 Environmental Services Company in Inc. Magazine’s second annual Hire Power Awards for contributing to job creation in the United States.

In the past three years, e-Cycle experienced growth of 622 percent and generated 32 new jobs, placing it among the top 15 job creators in Ohio for the second consecutive year.

“We are honored to be recognized as a top job creator, as it demonstrates our commitment to delivering value to our clients and employees,” said e-Cycle CEO Christopher Irion. “This award serves as a testament to the growing need for mobile recycling and asset recovery, as well as the hard work and commitment our team embodies.”

Only 222,000 full-time U.S. jobs were added in 2012, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Inc. magazine’s Hire Power Award honorees created almost 70,000 of those positions.

“For the second year in a row, we are pleased to recognize the employers who are putting Americans back to work,” says Eric Schurenberg, Editor-in-Chief of Inc. “The Hire Power Awards are the only awards that single out job creators. We think it’s fitting to pay tribute to company founders not just for their business prowess but also for their immense contribution to the welfare of U.S. workers and the vitality of the U.S. economy.”

e-Cycle is among 437 Hire Power Awards honorees located across the country and in 25 industries. To be eligible, companies must be U.S.-based, privately owned, have been founded in 2011 or earlier and have employed at least 10 full-time employees as of December 31, 2012.

An award ceremony, sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will take place on November 12, 2013, in San Francisco. A complete list of winners can be found at www.inc.com/hire-power.

To view e-Cycle’s Inc. company profile, visit www.inc.com/profile/e-Cycle.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How to Protect the Private Data on Your Cell Phone

Modern smartphones house a goldmine of private information, from contacts and pin numbers to photographs and emails. Taking simple preventative measures while you own the device and when choosing a secure cell phone buyback and recycling company, is imperative to safeguarding your sensitive mobile data.

Approximately 113 cell phones are lost or stolen every minute in the U.S.—that is 162,720 per day! To prevent your sensitive data from being accessed during use or in the event your cell phone is lost or stolen, consider taking the following simple mobile security measures:

  1. Keep Security Software Current. Make sure your mobile device has the latest security software, web browser and operating system installed.
  2. Lock Your Phone. Use a password to lock your cell phone. Strong passwords are longer than five characters and contain upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. You can change the normal four digit pin codes typically found on iPhones and other devices to accept more advanced security passwords.
  3. Think Before You App. Review the privacy policy and understand what data (location, social networks, etc.) an app can access before downloading. Many times it is accessing the private information of your family, friends and business contacts as well.
  4. Get savvy about Wi‐Fi hotspots. Limit the type of business you conduct on your cell phone while connected to public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Knowledgeable criminals can access your private data without you knowing it. Stick to your 3G or 4G network when in public spaces.
  5. Protect your Wallet. When banking and shopping, be sure the site is security enabled by looking for web addresses beginning with “https://” or “shttp://.” An “Http://” address is not secure and could expose your confidential credit card and banking information to thieves.

There are two crucial things you need to consider when choosing a mobile buyback and/or recycling company.

First, does the wireless recycling company make data security a priority? Find out if they test for active lines and perform data wipes beyond a simple factory reset. Many mobile phones have known vulnerabilities that cause residual data to remain on the device after a factory reset is performed. For example, after a factory reset is performed on an Android, photos and other personal information often remain on the device. Ensure your chosen recycler utilizes multi-step deletion processes and quality assurance checks when removing your data—especially if they purchased your phone for resale.

Second, are they e-Stewards certified? e-Stewards certified recyclers adhere to stringent data security and environmental standards for reusing and recycling electronic devices. They undergo extensive audits to guarantee none of their toxic e-waste is being exported overseas or sent to a landfill.

Taking these precautions during cell phone use and end-of-life management will protect your sensitive mobile data from ending up in the wrong hands. For additional mobile and cyber security tips, visit http://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/resources/.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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e-Cycle Mobile Buyback and Recycling Becomes a Champion for National Cyber Security Awareness Month

NCSAMe-Cycle became a National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) Champion to assist in spreading awareness and the necessary resources for businesses and individuals to stay safe online. This year marks the 10th anniversary of NCSAM, which is celebrated every October.

Under leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, NCSAM has grown exponentially each year in their efforts to reach consumers, businesses, corporations, educational institutions and young people across the nation.

The month is divided into themed weeks to help focus on core issues in cyber security. Visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam for resources on how to stay safe online, learn more about NCSAM and how you can get involved.

e-Cycle is dedicated to protecting the mobile data of businesses, government agencies and consumers by offering a secure resource for selling used iPhones, BlackBerrys, Androids, iPads and other mobile devices. e-Cycle uses advanced technologies and proprietary data deletion methods to ensure our client’s sensitive mobile data does not end up in the wrong hands.

Unfortunately OEM factory resets do not completely erase all of the private data on a device. Information often remains on hidden menus such as email addresses, phone numbers, photographs and other sensitive information. e-Cycle mobile security department found that:

  • 2% of devices received at e-Cycle have active lines still transmitting data.
  • 55% of devices have SIM cards that contain sensitive information.
  • 1 in 5 devices have SD Memory Cards with access to private files.

For more information on e-Cycle’s industry leading data security, visit http://www.e-cycle.com/how-it-works/data-security/.

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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.

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e-Cycle’s Apple iPhone Buyback Program Provides the Best Option to Recycle Used Devices

With Apple’s launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, several trade-in programs have become available in the marketplace that will allow you to trade-in or recycle your old iPhone to purchase the new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c at a discounted price. But are these trade-in and recycling programs really the best deal? It is important to carefully research each iPhone trade-in and recycling program to ensure it is a good fit.

e-Cycle’s iPhone / Mobile Phone Buyback Program May be the Best Option for You

  • Higher pricing: e-Cycle offers up to $350 for iPhone devices. e-Cycle buys more than 400 mobile phones and tablets for top dollar.
  • Spending freedom: e-Cycle pays you by check, not store credit like most trade-in programs. You can choose where and when you want to spend the money you earn from selling your old iPhone or other mobile phone.
  • No strings attached: Many trade-in programs require you to be eligible for an upgrade or sign a new wireless carrier contract to get cash back. Take time to get comfortable with your new iPhone before selling your used iPhone for cash.
  • Fast and simple process: Why go to the store to trade-in your used mobile phones and tablets when you can quickly and easily send your iPhone from the comfort of your home? e-Cycle’s buyback program provides you with free shipping and fast payments.
  • Payments based on functionality, not cosmetics: Trade-in programs often grade devices and will pay you less than the online quoted price based on minor cosmetic flaws such as dings and scratches. e-Cycle pays you for your iPhones and other mobile phones based on functionality, not minor signs of wear.
  • Protect the environment: By selling your used iPhone or other mobile phones through e-Cycle’s e-Stewards certified buyback program you are extending the life of the device which greatly saves energy and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • All mobile phones accepted: Even if you do not have an iPhone, e-Cycle buys several types of mobile phones and tablets, including Android, BlackBerry and Windows phones.
  • Donate: e-Cycle gives you the option to donate your mobile buyback dollars through the e-Cycle Foundation. All donations are tax-deductible.

All trade-in and recycling programs offer their own benefits, but it’s important to research the best recycling program for your needs, while ensuring their private data and the environment are protected.

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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.

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e-Cycle Supports the “It Can Wait” Campaign to Prevent Texting and Driving

e-Cycle is joining the It Can Wait movement to end texting and driving by encouraging all of our employees and clients to participate in Drive 4 Pledges Day on September 19, 2013.

Join the 1.8 million people that have committed to never text and drive through ItCanWait.com on Drive 4 Pledges Day. Then share your commitment to inspire others to do the same. If you believe texting and driving isn’t an issue, learn about the dangers and consequences first hand by trying the texting and driving simulator online or at an It Can Wait event.

The Facts

Sending or looking at a text, tweet, post or email from behind the wheel can be deadly. Unfortunately, the number of people texting and driving is high even though hands-free and educational resources are readily available. Recent studies have found that:

  • Commuters are the biggest offenders, with 49 percent admitting to texting while driving.
  • 98 percent of the population knows sending texts while driving is not safe, yet 50 percent of drivers do it anyway.
  • 40 percent of drivers who text while driving call it a habit.
  • Those who text while driving are 23 times more likely to crash.
  • More than 100,000 crashes each year involve drivers that are texting.
  • Teens, on average, text five times more a day than a typical adult.
  • 75% of teens say texting and driving is “common” among their friends.

Tips for breaking the habit

It Can Wait put together the following tips to help you stay true to your pledge and break your dangerous texting and driving habit:

  • Download the AT&T Drive Mode App– This mobile app will automatically reply to incoming messages with a customizable text to let people know you are driving and will respond later.
  • Assign a Designated Texter – Let your passengers respond to incoming texts for you.
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Put your phone on silent mode or in a place you can’t reach while in the car.
  • Listen to music – Create a playlist or listen to the radio.
  • Call, don’t text – Use Bluetooth features to safely make urgent calls.
  • Speak up – If you see someone texting while driving, ask them to stop.

The Drive 4 Pledges Day is a nationwide effort, first launched by AT&T in 2009 that focuses on educating people about the dangers of texting and driving. Other carriers have since joined the movement, including Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Together, we can all have a part in making sure that no more lives are lost. No message is so urgent that it is worth diverting attention from the road and risking lives in the process. It Can Wait.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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e-Cycle President, Tonia Irion, Honored with 2013 Rosie Award by Waste & Recycling News

e-Cycle Co-founder and President, Tonia Irion, was recognized as a Waste & Recycling News 2013 Rosie Award winner for innovations in the recycling, waste and sustainability industry.

Embodying the award’s namesake, Rosie the Riveter, Tonia has demonstrated innovation and vision by helping organizations invest their telecom budgets wisely, while protecting the environment and their wireless data through the responsible reuse and recycling of used mobile devices.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized among such an inspirational group of woman who are leading their companies to new levels of innovation in the recycling industry,” said Irion. “The entire e-Cycle team is passionate about the protecting the environment, keeping toxic e-waste from landfills and helping our clients make a positive difference in their communities.”

e-Cycle was founded on three guiding principals: a passion for environmental protection, a love of technology and a commitment to charitable giving. In 2013 Tonia formed the e-Cycle Foundation, through which, e-Cycle’s clients can turn revenues from their mobile buyback programs into tax-deductible donations to the charities of their choice. Since 2005, e-Cycle has contributed approximately $1 million to multiple non-profits solely through proceeds gained from the wireless recycling programs of its clients.

For more information on Waste & Recycling News’ Rosie Awards and to see the full list of 2013 winners, visit www.wasterecyclingnews.com/section/rosie13.

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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.

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