eBay joins drive to get Americans recycling

American citizens are being urged to recycle their electric and electronic waste in a campaign being headed by internet auction house, eBay.

A survey revealing that only 15% of Americans were aware they could recycle their old electronic items was unveiled at the launch of the Rethink campaign this week, a joint initiative by eBay, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC), and other government and environmental organisations.

Moreover, the survey also uncovered the fact that over half of all households in the US had electronic items in good working condition that were no longer being used, but the majority of people did not know anything about the recycling options and possibilities in their local area.

Senior Strategist for the SVTC, Ted Smith, said he hoped that having eBay onboard would help to raise the profile of his organisation’s recycling campaign.

“We need to undertake this monumental task in a responsible manner, so that our electronic waste does not become someone else’s toxic nightmare,” Mr Smith stated.

When items such as a computer are past their useful life, the Rethink programme will help consumers to find a responsible local recycler form a list developed by the SVTC, the Basel Action Network (BAN) and the Computer Takeback Campaign (CTBC).

“We established a ‘recycler’s pledge’ that holds recyclers to environmentally responsible standards of conduct,” explained Robin Schneider of the CTBC.

“This includes, for instance, not sending electronic waste to developing countries for dangerous or environmentally destructive operations, and not using prison labour where health and safety standards are grossly insufficient.”

By Jane Kettle

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