March 21, 2011

Fraud in Electronics Take-back

Filed under: Uncategorized — inece @ 2:55 am

FAKE RECYCLERS PROFIT OFF E-WASTE

GEEP, March 9, 2011. Analysis by David Teeghman

http://news.discovery.com/tech/fake-recyclers-profit-off-e-waste.html

Important to know where your obsolete electronics end up. Recycling your electronic waste is a noble idea, but here’s the dirty little secret: even if you drop off your old electronics for recycling, it may never get recycled.

As OSNews’ Howard Fosdick describes some people fall victim to a scam called “fake recycling,” and just describing it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

Fake recyclers are organizations that approach well-meaning community groups like the Boy Scouts or the Make-a-Wish Foundation to help run a local “Recycling Day.” The idea is that people from the community will bring in their old electronics to the legitimate organization’s Recycling Day event. The fake recycler will then haul that e-waste away, and export it to another country with lax environmental regulations.

What’s in it for them? According to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, “Recyclers can make more money by exporting than they can by actually responsibly recycling. This is particularly true for recyclers who are collecting televisions, because it costs money to properly recycle old televisions. But they can get paid for exporting them.”

This story from the Basel Action Network details how Cartoosa, OK-based company, EarthEcycle allegedly conned the Humane Society and several other groups into running a “Recycle Day” Event, and then exported the goods to Hong Kong and South Africa. Last year, the EPA filed charges (download EarthECycle complaint) against the company for violating at least seven federal hazardous waste management regulation.

The EPA found other companies located in the state of Washington and Texas as well as in New Jersey illegally disposing of electronic waste

Full article available at: http://news.discovery.com/tech/fake-recyclers-profit-off-e-waste.html

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