Toxic Trade News / 19 July 2010
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EPA Names e-Stewards Certified Recyclers as Route to Responsible Electronics Recycling

BAN Media Release
  EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson  
19 July 2010 (Seattle) – The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has now formally recognized the e-Stewards® Recycler Certification and associated e-Stewards® Standard for the Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment. Developed by the Basel Action Network in conjunction with leaders in the recycling industry and experts in occupational health and safety, data security, certification, and other fields, the e-Stewards Standard describes environmentally safe and responsible practices for managing electronic waste. The environmental community hails this recognition because the e-Stewards Standard is the only standard that bans hazardous electronic waste exports to developing countries – one of the most deadly pollution sources today.

“We are very pleased that EPA has acknowledged the validity of the standard that growing numbers of individuals, corporations and electronics recyclers consider to be the bottom line in responsible recycling,” said Lauren Roman, BAN’s e-Stewards Business Director. “Our standard fully supports the free trade of non-toxic valuable commodities to developing countries while protecting citizens of these nations from the burden of getting toxic waste along for the ride.”

EPA’s website contains the following new notice on their e-Cycling webpage:

"EPA supports and will continue to push for further safe and protective recycling efforts and encourage improvements in best management practices for recyclers. There are existing recycling certification programs, such as R2 and e-Stewards that EPA believes advance environmentally safe practices and includes standards for use in third party certification of such efforts."

Additional support for the approximately 50 e-recycling companies currently qualified as pledged e-Stewards Recyclers that recommitted to full e-Stewards certification came in the form of an EPA memo sent to all partners of the Federal Electronics Challenge that encourages federal facilities and agencies to manage obsolete electronics in an environmentally safe way. The memo states:

"Use of either an R2 certified or e-Stewards certified electronics recycler meets your federal requirements to employ environmentally sound practices with respect to disposition of electronic products. Use of these certified recyclers requires no further due diligence."

At the request of leaders in the recycling industry, the non-profit Basel Action Network developed the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment as an alternative to the R2 Practices that allow export of hazardous e-waste to developing countries under conditions that are not consistent with international law. The mission of the Basel Action Network is to encourage international compliance with the UN Basel Treaty and Amendment which bans export of any kind of hazardous waste to developing countries under any conditions. The devastating impacts that the export of hazardous e-waste has on the people and environments of poor countries has been well documented in recent years by such programs as CBS’s 60 Minutes and PBS’s Frontline programs.


For more information on the e-Stewards Initiative, visit

Contact: Ms. Lauren Roman, Tel: 973-224-7632.

FAIR USE NOTICE. This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The Basel Action Network is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability and environmental justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Select images courtesy of Chris Jordan