US to ban E-waste from being dumped in the developing world

America has announced this morning (October 1) details of legislation aimed at banning export of potentially hazardous electronic waste to the developing world.

US representatives Gene Green and Mike Thompson introduced the legislation – the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act of 2010 – to stop Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) being dumped in developing countries.

The bill is supported by environmental groups as well as electronic manufacturers Apple, Dell, and Samsung, all of which already have policies banning the export of e-waste to developing nations.

“Dell bans the export of e-waste to developing countries as part of our global disposition policy, and the ever-growing e-waste challenge makes it necessary for all recyclers to do the same,” said Mark Newton, director of sustainable business at Dell.

“The introduction of this bill is a great first step in giving consumers confidence that the systems they drop off for recycling will be handled responsibly.”

The bill adds a new section to the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) laws establishing a new category of ‘restricted electronic waste’ which cannot be exported from the US to developing nations.

Non-hazardous or tested and working electronic products or parts are not restricted. Other exemptions from the restrictions are:

·Products under warranty being returned to the manufacturing facility that made them;

·Products or parts being recalled

·Crushed Cathode Ray tube (CRT) glass cullet that is cleaned and fully prepared as feedstock into CRT glass manufacturing facilities

Luke Walsh

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie