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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The E-Waste Impact of Tablet Programs In Schools

Revenue Recovery and Recycling are Essential to Device Management Policies

By 2016, the tablet to student ratio is estimated to reach 1:1. This movement is predicted to drastically improve education, but without an end-of-life management plan in place, it could cause catastrophic harm to the environment.

There are currently 55.2 million students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade in the United States. If each student is given one device and it is replaced every three years, each student will use 4.3 devices during their 13-year education. In all, that’s 237.5 million devices being utilized by students.

Unfortunately, 60% of school technology coordinators don’t have an end-of-life management plan, according to FundingFactory. Without a plan, these devices will either collect dust in a closet or be thrown into a landfill. The result is a loss of potential revenue and an abundance of pollution in the environment.

Educational institutions that don’t sell their devices to a responsible recycler are forfeiting a huge opportunity to put money back into their budgets. If only one device per student was recycled, schools could recover approximately $331 million.

In addition to the monetary incentive, it’s necessary to recycle mobile devices in order to protect the environment and future generations. Cell phones and tablets contain toxic metals including lead, mercury and cadmium. These toxins can leak into the groundwater and cause detrimental damage to the environment if they are not properly recycled.

Meeting the predicted surge of devices in the education sector with a solid end-of-life management plan is essential to protecting the environment. To ensure you recoup the maximum value of your mobile devices and that your end-of-life devices are not sent to a landfill, develop a plan that includes partnering with an e-Stewards recycler. The e-Stewards certification is the most stringent and globally recognized standard for electronic recyclers.

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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 Much is Your Private Data Worth? Choose the Right Mobile Buyback and Recycling Partner

How much would you charge a stranger for your contacts, family photos and pin number? $5? $20? It sounds ridiculous, but many businesses and consumers are doing just that when they choose to sell their used phone and tablets to a company based solely on the highest buyback price. It’s important to consider the entire value of the services offered when choosing a mobile revenue recovery and recycling company.

A study by CPP Life Assistance found that 54 percent of cell phones purchased second-hand contained personal data such as emails and bank details from the previous owners. They also purchased 50 SIM cards and 27 of them contained similar private information.

CPP Life Assistance went a step further and asked the original mobile phone owners if they had deleted their personal data prior to selling their device; 81 percent claimed they did.

So how can you ensure your data is protected?

Many will advise you to perform a factory reset, but as this study has shown, that is not always effective in removing all sensitive data from your mobile devices. Partnering with a mobile buyback and recycling company that makes data security a top priority is the only way to ensure your data is protected.

Qualities that indicate a recycler provides effective data security include testing for active lines, an e-Stewards certification, device-specific wiping processes and quality assurance checks. At e-Cycle, we prove our value by providing all these services and more at zero cost. All mobile devices received at our facility go through rigorous, multi-step data deletion procedures and verification testing for quality assurance. Third party, forensic auditors randomly-test our devices and validate our data security processes quarterly. If the e-Cycle data security team is not certain the data on the device it removed (many times due to functionality flaws), the device is shredded onsite to protect your personal and corporate data.

Reselling used mobile phones and tablets for reuse so that the lives of the devices can be extended is an essential part of a responsible wireless recycling plan. However, carefully consider the total value your chosen mobile buyback and recycling partner offers. Is it really worth risking your sensitive data by selecting a less-than-reputable company that offers a few dollars extra per device? Instead, choose a wireless revenue recovery partner such as e-Cycle that offers the total package: highly competitive pricing, industry-leading data security and e-Stewards certified electronics recycling and environmental protection.

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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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How Businesses Can Avoid the High Cost of Mobile Data Breaches

More than 79 percent of companies experienced a mobile security incident (loss of data, malware attacks, lost devices) in 2012, according to “The Impact of Mobile Devices on Information Security” report commissioned by Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

The study found that 96 percent of companies have more personal devices connecting to their corporate networks year after year. In fact, 45 percent have over five times as many personal mobile devices as they had two years ago.

In addition, 94 percent of companies revealed that their biggest mobile security concern is loss of corporate data and 66 percent believe careless employees posed a bigger security risk than cybercriminals.

Yet, despite these figures and the influx of personal devices in the workplace, 63 percent of companies reported that are not managing corporate data on employee-owned devices. Corporate information contained in these devices includes not just contacts, emails and calendars, but also customer data, confidential notes and network login credentials. Not having a mobile data management system or security policy in place can come at a high cost for business and enterprises.

The costs of fines, legal fees and potential private lawsuits associated with a mobile security incident add up. According to the report, 52 percent of large companies say the cost of mobile security incidents exceeded $500,000 last year. Incidents for 45 percent of business with less than 1,000 employees cost more than $100,000.

To mitigate this issue, companies must educate their employees on acceptable mobile security practices and put a mobile policy in place to regulate mobile device usage in the workplace. Simple measures such as only using secure Wi-Fi connections and saving data in the cloud can make a big impact in protecting sensitive mobile data.

However, even with the best mobile security practices in place, incidents can occur. Because of this, it’s also important for businesses to invest in insurance policies specifically related to mobile incidents. This insurance will help pay for the costs associated with notifying those affected by a breach and corresponding fines.

Enterprises also need to consider the data security issues that can arise during the end-of-life management of mobile devices. Partnering with a trusted asset recovery and recycling company to reimburse your employees for the value of their devices, while ensuring sensitive data is protected, is critical to preventing a data breach.

Many asset recovery and recycling companies provide poor data security measures such as only performing a factory reset, which can leave residual data on devices. Enterprises should seek out data security experts in the recycling industry who have rigorous, multi-step processes for data deletion and quality assurance.

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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-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 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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e-Cycle Congratulates Lockheed Martin For Becoming an e-Stewards Enterprise Recognized for Responsible e-Recycling

Lockheed Martin, a global security, aerospace and information technology supplier, was recognized as an e-Stewards Enterprise for its responsible electronic waste management.

e-Stewards Enterprises are companies, governments and institutions that commit to preventing the improper management of hazardous e-waste, which has detrimental impacts on the health of people and the environment.

As an e-Stewards Enterprise, Lockheed Martin is dedicated to using e-Stewards certified electronics recyclers because they uphold the highest global standards for responsible recycling and undergo annual independent audits to ensure they do not export hazardous e-waste to developing countries or dump it into landfills.

Learn more about the e-Stewards certification here or by visiting e-Stewards.org.

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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: Five Common Mistakes to Avoid when Creating a BYOD Policy

With bring your own device (BYOD) programs exploding worldwide, enterprises are searching for the perfect solution for managing and securing employee-liable devices. Implementing a BYOD policy is tricky because each program must be customized to meet the specific needs for each company and there is no catch-all solution. As a global leader in the mobile buyback and recycling industry, e-Cycle shares five common BYOD mistakes that can lead to disgruntled workers, lower productivity as well as higher costs and mobile security headaches.

1. No Policy or Monitoring
BYOD’s major strength is the flexibility it lends to employees; however, businesses must be prepared for the liability that accompanies it. Creating a BYOD policy with specific guidelines for who owns the data, device and software, how the expenses are distributed and what happens to the device when it is lost or stolen will help to avoid legal matters and protect your company.

2. Excessive Mobile Security
Multiple passwords, remote device wipes and location trackers are important features to protect mobile data, but requiring over-the-top security features will leave employees soured on BYOD. Instead, search for solutions that enhance productivity and increase employee satisfaction, while still protecting sensitive mobile data. But be careful, restoring factory settings and remote wiping is not a guarantee of data removal. Often times sensitive information still remains on wireless devices including names, contact information, pin numbers, emails and even photos. A shocking study revealed confidential information was found on devices purchased on eBay.

3. Too Few Options
BYOD was intended to empower employees with the ability to choose the devices and apps they want. A program that is too limited may lower company morale and cause employees to develop their own workarounds to utilize the apps they prefer, which increases the likelihood of a breach. Give your employees enough options to boost productivity and create a positive output for the company.

4. Too Many Options
Managing mobile business data through numerous devices and carriers can quickly become a nightmare for an enterprise’s IT or mobility department. BYOD is meant to be beneficial to both the business and the employee. Offering three to four mainstream devices will please employees and allow the IT/mobility department to effectively manage mobile security, creating applications and troubleshooting. Be wary of devices and applications that are known to be traps for malware.

5. Not Thinking it Through
As the newest mobile trend, many companies are diving head first into BYOD without thinking the process through. Enterprises need to ensure that BYOD makes sense for the needs of the company and employees. BYOD can save businesses money; however, there are often hidden expenses that accompany this new trend like software licensing, mobile security, device management and regulatory compliance. These are all expenses that need to be considered when deciding to make the switch to BYOD.

6. Partner with a Trusted Mobile Buyback and Recycling Company
Encourage or mandate that your employees discard their used personally-owned devices securely and responsibly by utilizing a trusted wireless buyback and recycling company that has proven processes for data deletion. There are numerous consumer buyback companies that claim data protection, however, provide poor data security processes and unsecure facilities. Discourage employees from selling their used mobile devices on eBay and Craigslist.

Vetting and recommending a secure and proven mobile buyback and recycling partner to compensate your employees while protecting their sensitive data and the environment is critical to help negate data breaches and to protect your corporate reputation. Additionally, utilize e-Stewards® certified electronics recyclers who are rigorously audited each year to ensure they uphold globally-recognized standards for data security, environmental protection and worker safety.

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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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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.

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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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