E-waste exports

Watchdog group exposes overseas shipping of old electronics

Pollution watchdog group Basel Action Network exposed a supposedly eco-friendly company engaging in eco-unfriendly activity.

BAN claims it caught electronic-waste handler EarthECycle attempting to ship e-waste from the United States to Hong Kong and South Africa. The toxic refuse had been collected by the company during a fundraising event in the Pittsburgh area, whose participants were assured by EarthECycle’s Jeffrey Nixon that the waste would be recycled locally.

Instead, BAN says, the company put the material into warehouses and then loaded it onto seabound containers a few weeks later. Hong Kong authorities have since ordered the shipping company to return the containers to EarthECycle.

BAN is seeking national legislation to ban the export of toxic e-waste to developing countries. The organization has been featured on 60 Minutes for exposing a similar matter in Colorado.