Audit: Government could do more in e-waste arena; Utah steps up

Published: Sunday, April 1 2012 12:27 a.m. MDT

Both the audit and the coalition point out that few agencies know if recycling companies used for disposal are certified to the strictest standards under the Basel Action Network, with the coalition estimating at least half of electrical products handled by U.S. recyclers end up overseas.

Last fall in an unprecedented case investigated by the EPA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Departent of Homeland Security, criminal charges were brought against two men who ran a Colorado recycling company with contracts in place with Denver, Boulder and several other cities.

Indictments allege the men were responsible for at least 300 exports, falsified their records and made revenue in excess of $1.8 million off the transactions.

Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would require electronics exporters be licensed by the EPA and restrict the export of toxic e-waste to developing countries, including by federal agencies.

Earlier this month, the federal government announced that all its agencies are banned from diposing of electronics in landfills and must use a certified recycler.

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