Executive Recycling probably kills kids in China (Updated)

Posted on November 16, 2008

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UPDATE: Google has a cached copy of the (since removed) response by Executive Recycling to the 60 Minutes piece below and the GAO report mentioned in the 60 Minutes piece. Here’s the Google cached page (for as long as it stays cached, anyway), and page 25 (pdf page 29) of this GAO report has the exact reference used in 60 Minutes. It’s possible that the 60 Minutes story got some of their facts wrong – the GAO report doesn’t mention Executive Recycling by name, so another source to make that connection would be required – and so the EPA should investigate this and, if appropriate, bring all 43 companies that the GAO “stung” up on charges. This GAO report says the EPA is investigating.

It’s illegal to dump electronic waste on developing nations. But it still happens. And sometimes it turns out to be a hometown company that’s “recycling” lead-filled TV tubes and printed circuit boards in China, probably against the law. 60 Minutes ran this story on Executive Recycling (ER), of Englewood, Colorado, and the company that my hometown uses for e-waste recycling twice a year.

http://www.cbs.com/thunder/swf30can10cbsnews/rcpHolderCbs-3-4×3.swf
Watch CBS Videos Online

Interestingly enough, ER had a response to the 60 Minutes piece for a while, but it’s vanished from off the ER website. If anyone has an archived copy of the page, or could point me to where I can find one, I’d love to post it or link to it. Use “Contact Us” above.

A year ago, I recycled an old, busted television. I hope it was recycled properly, not shipped overseas to a town where a gang is willing to kill kids with lead poisoning for a few yuan.

I hope the feds charge Executive Recycling with export violations and, if ER’s guilty, the company gets shut down and the executives responsible for this get locked up for a long time.

I’d prefer that they be forced to endure the conditions that the “recyclers” do in China, but that would probably qualify as “cruel and unusual punishment”.

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