Responsible E-Waste Recycling Comes to Europe

The Basel Action Network (BAN), the global environmental waste watchdog group which first exposed the dumping of waste from electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) from developed countries to China and West Africa, has brought its electronic recyclers certification to Europe. Redemtech EU, of Cranleigh, Surrey, has become the first electronics recycler outside of the United States to be e-Stewards Certified. Three more European facilities are in queue to be certified in the next months.

E-Stewards is a globally accredited, third-party audited certification program that ensures customers that recyclers do not deposit toxic electronic waste in landfills or export it to developing countries – illegal under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive – and that the facility operates in accordance with all applicable local and international laws.

To become a certified e-Stewards Recycler, Redemtech met BAN’s e-Stewards Standard and independent audits to that standard by an ANAB-accredited certifying body. Redemtech was among the first companies to receive the e-Stewards certification when BAN launched the program in the US in April 2010. Redemtech currently operates four e-Stewards certified facilities in the US.

Electronics recycling in the United States.

“Despite it being blatantly illegal, far too much toxic WEEE is being exported to developing countries,” says BAN’s Jim Puckett. “E-Stewards Certification is critical to fight against illicit e-waste exports and provides customers of WEEE recyclers, both large and small, with concrete accountability in the form of third-party audits. Certified e-Stewards Recyclers, like Redemtech EU, have proven systems in place to ensure customers that they do not have to rely on trust when it comes to choosing a recycler.”

The new e-Stewards Certification is currently available in all 41 OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation), EU (European Union) and EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries. Companies and institutions that agree to make best efforts to always use e-Stewards recyclers, can be designated as e-Stewards Enterprises. Currently Samsung, Capital One, Premier Farnell, Bank of America and Wells Fargo Banks are among the already designated e-Stewards Enterprises.

The e-Stewards Standard has been endorsed by the Environmental Justice Foundation in the UK and the European Environmental Bureau, Greenpeace USA, the Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council among more than 60 other environmental organizations. For more information about the e-Stewards Initiative visit: www.e-Stewards.org.

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