Tuesday November 25, 2008

On Sunday November 9, 2008, the CBS program 60 Minutes aired a segment exposing how some of the millions of computer monitors, cell phones and other electronic refuse generated in the US is shipped illegally to China, impacting the environment and the people who salvage the components. The 60 Minutes broadcast may have been alarming to local residents who are concerned about the proper disposal of these materials and may wonder where Napa's e-waste ends up.

E-waste collected in Napa is transferred from Napa Recycling and Waste Services to a company called Electronic Recyclers International. This company is listed as a "responsible e-cycler" on the website of the Basel Action Network, a group involved in monitoring compliance with laws involving the recycling of e-waste. On November 10th 2008, a day after being featured on 60 Minutes, the Basel Action Network announced a transformation of the existing program to a fully accredited, third-party audited certification program: the e-Stewards Certification. By 2010, accredited certifying bodies will independently assure conformity to revised e-Stewards Standard, thus providing the highest level of assurance that they meet the world’s most responsible environmental and social justice criteria for electronics recyclers. These criteria include no toxic e-waste dumped in landfills or incinerators, exported to developing countries, or sent to prison labor operations and no release of private data.

Follow this link to see the video as presented on 60 Minutes.