Massive amounts of hazardous electronic waste is being exported from the U.S. to developing countries. Instead of being properly or responsibly recycled it is being “smashed, burned, melted, and washed in acid baths in dangerous substandard recycling operations that harm workers, communities and environment.” This is harmful for the environment and for the communities in the developing countries. It also, worryingly, undermines the U.S. based computer recycling industry.
Why is this Happening?
Because it costs less to export this waste to developing countries as opposed to managing the waste responsibly at home.
Now, while it might be costing less at first, it is actually costing the U.S. more in the long run. Not only does it sabotage our country’s responsible electronics recycling industry, it also hurts U.S. job growth in green jobs and recycling. And lastly, when blinding shipping e-waste oversees, it doesn’t allow for the opportunity to save, recycle and refurbish discarded equipment that could be re-used in low income housing, schools and communities.
The good news? You can take action. Basel Action Network is asking you to sign their petition and ask President Obama to stop allowing federal government e-waste to be exported to developing countries. Sign the petition, and then share it with friends.
You can sign the BAN petition here