Simplicity wants to make sure that the electronics we inherit during the garage sale will be disposed of responsibly since most will not sell (if history is any indicator). We have found Agreenspan, a local recycler, who will dispose of electronics in an environmentally-responsible manner. Since this will cost us a few bucks we are passing on this charge as a drop-off fee during the garage sale, see list below. Most “free” collection events unwittingly send these electronics overseas into cyber-age waste dumps where computers are burned emitting toxic fumes, micro-chips are washed in acid baths and then dumped into local rivers. The fees will be collected on the honor-system; an instruction sign, drop-off fee pricelist, and cash box will be at Sunnyhill’s front door during the garage sale drop-off. Please contact Elizabeth or Charlie with any questions.
PCs, PRINTERS, FAX MACHINES, SCANNERS, LAPTOPS $5.00
KEYBOARDS, CABLES, MICE, SPEAKERS, CELLULAR PHONES No Charge
The following prices are a guide to recycling charges for television sets.
Screen size- measure glass diagonally Recycling fee
15” or smaller $20.00
Over 15” but less than 27” $30.00
27” but less than 36” $40.00
36” and above (TABLE MODELS) $ 50.00
Floor models (wooden cabinets,
on wheels,etc,) $ 50.00
WE DO NOT PUT TELEVISIONS INTO LANDFILLS NOR DO WE SEND THEM OVERSEAS AS SCRAP TO BE STRIPPED AND LEFT AS POLLUTION. PLEASE BEWARE SO CALLED ‘RECYCLERS’ WHO DO NOT CHARGE FEES FOR ANY CATHODE RAY TUBE (CRT) MACHINE (TVs AND COMPUTER MONITORS). THEY CANNOT BE PROPERLY DISPOSED OF FOR FREE.
The Recycling Lie
“We may think we’re doing the right thing by giving our old electronics to a ‘recycler’ or a free collection event,” said Sarah Westervelt, BAN’s e-Stewardship Program Director. “But most of those businesses calling themselves recyclers are little more than international waste distributors. They take your old equipment for free, or pocket your recycling fee, and then simply load it into a sea-going container, and ship it to China, India or Nigeria.”
Once on foreign shores your old computer or TV becomes part of a cyber-age horror story. In China, woman and children breathe in the toxic solder vapors as they cook circuit boards, dioxins are produced when wires are burned, and micro-chips are washed in strong acid baths and flushed into the rivers as primitive metals extraction techniques take their toll on the local environment and the health of thousands of migrant farmers. In Nigeria the imported techno-trash that is not repairable is dumped and burned in swamps. BAN revealed these sad truths as early as 2002 in their film and report “Exporting Harm: The High Tech Trashing of Asia” and again in another report and film entitled “The Digital Dump: Exporting Re-use and Abuse to Africa," in 2005.
Unfortunately, according to BAN and ETBC, this ugly waste trade continues unabated from the United States because the government refuses to ratify the Basel Convention and the Basel Ban Amendment – international accords prohibiting trade in hazardous waste to developing countries, and has otherwise expressed little interest in controlling its toxic waste exports as long as they are claimed to be destined for recycling or re-use. As such, US e-waste exports are in contravention of international law, but not US law, and thus US “recyclers” are able to claim they abide by all environmental laws and are even "EPA approved".
Doing the Right Thing: The e-Stewards Initiative
To help distinguish between these unscrupulous exporters and the responsible recyclers and refurbishers, BAN and ETBC created the e-Stewards Initiative – a program identifying North America’s most responsible e-Waste recyclers that have agreed to adhere to strict criteria created by the non-profit environmental groups. The criteria require that no hazardous electronics equipment or parts (as defined internationally) will be exported to developing countries or be processed by captive prison labor, and that none of it will end up in landfills or incinerators. These responsible recyclers can be found at: www.ban.org/pledge1.html or www.computertakeback.com/responsible_recycling/index.cfm. Consumers are urged to avoid recyclers not on this list including free e-waste collection events that do not state that they only use e-Stewards recyclers.
“We strongly urge all consumers to avoid all but those recyclers that have qualified as e-Stewards. If your local recycler has not qualified for the program, ask them to do so. Otherwise while trying to do the right thing with recycling, you can unwittingly become a player in a global digital dumping game, and end up poisoning those in developing countries,” said Barbara Kyle, National Coordinator of ETBC.
For more information contact:
Sarah Westervelt at BAN in Seattle: 1.206.652.5555, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barbara Kyle at ETBC in San Francisco: 415-206-9595, or email@example.com.
For photographs of electronic wastes dumped in Africa and China: http://www.ban.org/photogallery/index.html
For more information on the horrors of e-waste export read the reports Exporting Harm and The Digital Dump, found on the Basel Action Network website: www.ban.org
For a list of responsible recyclers/refurbishers (e-Stewards): http://www.ban.org/pledge1.html
ATTN. Editors: Many newspapers and media outlets have been promoting recycling of electronics without paying attention to what the "recyclers" really do with the waste. Please be cautioned against helping promote free collection events or local recyclers that are not vetted as being non-exporters. Please call us if you have any questions in this regard.