Friday, June 24, 2011

Congress introduces landmark bill to stop global e-waste dumping

Good news - the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act of 2011 (HR 2284)was introduced in both the House and Senate this week. It's a bill that would make it illegal for "recyclers" in the U.S. to send toxic e-waste to developing nations. Please take a minute to urge your members of Congress to support this important bill (or thank them if any are co-sponsors).

This is landmark legislation in that it has bi-partisan sponsorship in the both the House and Senate, and the support of some key manufacturers and retailers, including HP, Dell, Apple, Samsung and Best Buy, all of whom already have policies of not exporting e-waste to developing nations.

For years, unscrupulous "recyclers" and waste trade brokers have been loading up containers full of e-waste and sending them to developing nations, where the toxics inside end up poisoning workers and communities. "60 Minutes", "Frontline" and many other media outlets have documented the horrible results - workers bashing open TV tubes, melting the lead from circuit boards, and burning plastics, which creates deadly dioxin emissions. All of this happens right next to residential areas, so residents and workers alike are exposed to the toxins.

This bill would stop the flow of toxic e-waste from the U.S. to these countries. It will still allow the export of tested and working equipment to be exported for reuse. We believe that once we close the door on global e-waste dumping, we will see new jobs being created by recyclers who will be doing disassembly, repairs, and processing here in the U.S.

A similar bill was introduced in the House late last year, but since this is a new session of Congress, a new bill had to be filed. If even if you contacted Congress on the last bill, they need to hear from you again on this new bill.

Please let your members of Congress know that you support this bill and urge him or her to do the same.

You can learn more about the legislation here.

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