"Silicon Valley" Requires e-Stewards Certified Recyclers for Electronics Recycling Events
Residents Can Be Sure Their Old Computers Will Be Responsibly Recycled
(Seattle, Washington; San Jose, California -- June 27, 2011) In a four-to-one vote on June 21, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance requiring that all electronic waste (or e-waste) collected at recycling events taking place in the unincorporated county be processed by e-Stewards® certified recyclers.
The county becomes the first in the nation to assure its citizens that electronics dropped off at any collection event will be handled responsibly, and only by those recyclers that have achieved the highest standard in the industry.
“Many County residents drop off their e-waste at private recycling drives organized by schools and charities,” said Supervisor Liz Kniss, District 5, who initiated the ordinance. “These residents believe that they are doing the right thing by recycling their e-waste. However, there is no way for residents to be sure that their e-waste will be ultimately recycled in a safe and globally responsible manner unless it goes to an e-Stewards recycler.” Kniss added, “I’m proud that Santa Clara County is the first government in the nation to take this step.”
Under the new law, collectors may only deliver e-waste to e-Stewards certified recyclers, and recyclers must be e-Stewards certified to accept e-waste collected from unincorporated Santa Clara County.
E-Stewards electronics recyclers undergo a professional audit each year to guarantee they will not export hazardous wastes to developing countries, nor dump such wastes into municipal landfills, nor use prison labor for managing such wastes. E-Stewards recyclers also ensure that private data is kept secure, and that their operations protect both workers and the environment everywhere.
The e-Stewards Certification was created by the Basel Action Network (BAN) in conjunction with advisors from the electronic recycling industry, occupational health experts and certification specialists. The accredited certification program is supported by the EPA, and is endorsed by Greenpeace USA, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, as well as 68 other environmental organizations.
“Sadly not all of those companies that call themselves responsible recyclers are truly responsible and many are not recyclers at all, but are just exporters," said Jim Puckett, the director and founder of the Basel Action Network (BAN). "We have been to the techno-trash dumping grounds of Africa and Asia and seen the children being poisoned. This is why we created the e-Stewards Certification in the first place. We are extremely gratified that local governments like Santa Clara, are making good use of this tool to screen out the unscrupulous and award only those businesses that will do the right thing.”
For more information on the e-Stewards Initiative: www.e-Stewards.org