Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the nation’s leading recycler of electronic waste, has contracted with certifying body QMI SAI Global to be audited to receive the Basel Action Network’s (BAN’s), e-Stewards E-Waste Recycler Certification.

BAN’s e-Steward Certification is the first such program backed by environmental organizations and major corporations alike. The accredited, third-party audited certification program has been endorsed by Greenpeace USA, the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Electronics TakeBack Coalition and 68 other environmental organizations. It has also drawn the support of major corporate “e-Stewards Enterprises” including Samsung, Bank of America, Capital One Financial Corp. and Wells Fargo.

At the heart of the program is the e-Stewards Standard, created by BAN with the advice of industry leaders and health and environmental specialists. It requires recyclers to eliminate exports of hazardous e-wastes to developing countries; to halt the dumping of such wastes in municipal landfills or incinerators, and to cease the use of captive prison populations to manage toxic e-wastes. It also calls for strict protection of customer’s private data and occupational health safeguards to ensure that workers in recycling plants are not exposed to toxic dusts and fumes.

“Unfortunately today, many of the companies calling themselves electronics recyclers are scammers,” said Jim Puckett, BAN executive director. “They simply load up containers of old computers and ship them off to China or Africa. By choosing a Certified e-Steward recycler, consumers and large businesses are assured that their old computers and TVs will be safely managed, and not simply tossed into a local landfill, processed unsafely by prison laborers, or exported to developing countries. I recently visited the ERI facility in Fresno myself and was impressed with the transparency of the process, the high level of concern for industrial hygiene, and the excellent security system utilized there. ERI is a fine example of a leader in the electronics recycling industry– we are very pleased that they have chosen to pursue e-Stewards Certification.”

To receive its official e-Steward Certification from BAN, ERI must be ISO 14001 certified and then will undergo a rigorous audit by auditors trained by SAI Global under BAN supervision in accordance to the e-Stewards Standard, drafted by BAN.

“The genuinely responsible recyclers in North America continue to face unfair competition from thousands of unethical, so-called ‘waste recyclers’ that would more accurately be called ‘waste shippers,'” said John S. Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of ERI. “We strongly support BAN’s certified, third-party audited program to separate the legitimate recyclers from the low-road operators and encourage other recyclers to also pursue Certification.”