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e-Steward certification for Massachusetts electronic waste recycler

Electronic Recyclers International : 27 April, 2009  (Company News)
Electronic Recyclers International gains certification in recognition of ethical practices in the processing and recycling of computing equipment
The Basel Action Network (BAN) and the Electronics TakeBack Coalition late last year founded a new certification program for North America's most responsible e-waste recyclers. The nation's leading electronics recycler, Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), headquartered in Fresno, California, with its east coast headquarters in Gardner, has become the first and only recycler of electronic waste in the State of Massachusetts to be certified by the program.

The e-Steward Initiative is the first independently audited and accredited electronic waste recycler certification program -- forbidding the dumping of toxic e-waste in developing countries, local landfills and incinerators; the use of prison labor; and the unauthorized release of private data.

"Unfortunately today, most companies calling themselves electronics recyclers are scammers," said Sarah Westervelt, e-Stewards project coordinator at the Basel Action Network (BAN) in Seattle. "They simply load up containers of old computers and ship them off to China or Africa. By choosing an e-Steward recycler, consumers and large businesses are assured that their old computers and TVs will be safely managed, and not simply tossed into a local landfill, processed unsafely by prison laborers, or exported to developing countries."

"The genuinely responsible recyclers in North America face unfair competition from thousands of unethical, so-called 'waste recyclers' that would more accurately be called 'waste shippers,'" said John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of ERI. "We strongly support a certified, audited program to separate the legitimate recyclers from the low-road operators. Our planet's glut of e-waste is no longer a problem we can sweep under the rug -- consumers and businesses in Massachusetts or anywhere else who want to play a role in the solution need to know which organizations recycle e-waste responsibly and appropriately. We applaud the Basel Action Network's proactive efforts to establish the e-Steward designation, a designation that we at ERI carry with pride."

"The e-Stewards project is a response to the failure of government and industry to act as responsible global citizens in the age of information technology," said Jim Puckett, BAN executive director. "It is also a wonderful example of how industry leaders and activists can move mountains when they work together — in this case, move mountains of e-waste to truly responsible recyclers only."
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