E-waste exports limit the ability of responsible recyclers to expand our businesses and build our workforce in the U.S.
Santa Clara, CA (PRWEB) November 02, 2011
ECS Refining, the industry leader in electronic recycling and end-of-life services, is proud to announce its work with the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling. The Coalition is supporting proposed federal legislation to restrict the export of toxic electronic waste (e-waste), as well as help spur expansion of the “domestic” recycling industry. The result of this legislation will ensure our e-waste is not sent to third world countries, as well as create of tens of thousands of new domestic jobs.
ECS Refining is an active founding member of this important organization. “The U.S. lacks a robust domestic e-waste recycling industry – and the quality jobs that come with it – because our laws promote unrestricted, unfair and unethical trade in toxic electronic scrap,” said Jim Taggart, Chief Executive Officer of ECS Refining. “E-waste exports not only poison the environment and people in developing countries across Asia and Africa, they limit the ability of responsible recyclers to expand our businesses and build our workforce in the U.S.”
The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act, introduced in June, would restrict toxic e-waste exports to developing countries that lack adequate safeguards for the environment and workers. The House bill is co-sponsored by Gene Green (D-TX), Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Steve LaTourette (R-OH). In the Senate, similar legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
The Coalition for American Electronics Recycling includes 29 U.S. companies involved in all aspects of the domestic electronics recycling and disposition industry, with 74 recycling operations in 34 states. The legislation is also supported by major electronics manufacturers and retailers, including Hewlett Packard, Dell, Apple, Samsung and Best Buy, as well as the Electronics Takeback Coalition, an environmental organization.
The U.S. generated more than 3.1 million tons of e-waste in 2009, according to U.S. EPA statistics. Electronic scrap contains high concentrations of toxic materials such as lead and cadmium and is classified as hazardous by the U.S. EPA and many states. However, a large percentage of e-waste collected for “recycling” is actually exported to developing countries that lack environmental and worker safeguards.
“We need to stop exporting American jobs along with toxic e-waste,” said Robert Houghton, President of Redemtech. “For each job in exporting electronics, we can create seven good-paying jobs in our domestic recycling industry. However, domestic recyclers are at a substantial financial disadvantage to overseas recyclers with few restrictions on worker and environmental safety. By creating a level playing field, this legislation will unleash investment and job creation in our industry.”
The legislation promotes business expansion and job growth through free trade of tested, working electronics and parts; separated and properly labeled commodities recovered from electronics, such as copper, steel and aluminum; and manufacturer warranty returns for repair within the original supply chain.
“While taking action against unregulated export of hazardous materials, this legislation promotes free trade in value-added products that are critical to global success and creating jobs here in America,” said Wendy Neu, Executive Vice President of Hugo Neu Corporation. “By promoting responsible recycling, the proposed legislation will position U.S. companies as leaders in global markets.”
Current government policies are distorting the marketplace and preventing U.S. companies from meeting market demand for responsible, domestic recycling services. “With growing awareness of the environmental risks, a majority of large U.S. companies and many consumers are asking for ‘no export’ e-waste services. However, due to unregulated exports, few qualified facilities exist in the U.S.,” said Neil Peters-Michaud, Chief Executive Officer of Cascade Asset Management. “The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act will enable American recyclers to rationalize investments in plant and personnel necessary to provide the services people and businesses want.”
The Coalition is actively working with both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which have jurisdiction over the bills as well as other Congressional offices who would benefit from the job creation from this legislation.
About ECS Refining
ECS Refining is a national electronic waste recycling and end-of-life services company with locations in Santa Clara, Stockton, and Gardena, California; Medford, Oregon; and Mesquite and Terrell, Texas. For over 30 years, ECS has provided recovery and refining, asset management, and resale services to attain maximum recovery value for clients, while maintaining environmentally sustainable results. We provide recycling solutions for a wide variety of electronic, industrial and hazardous materials, and are committed to applying smart and planet-friendly solutions for our customers. For more information about our operations, and the latest news from ECS Refining, visit http://www.ecsrefining.com.
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