Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the nation’s leading recycler of electronic waste, has announced that it is working with the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling in an effort to promote safe and effective domestic recycling of consumer electronics and stimulate jobs for the burgeoning green collar workforce. The Coalition is supporting proposed federal legislation, The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (S.1270 and HR 2284), to restrict the export of toxic electronic waste, as well as help spur expansion of the domestic recycling industry. The result of this legislation will ensure that e-waste is not sent to third world countries, while creating tens of thousands of new domestic “green collar” jobs.
ERI has pledged to be an active member of this Coalition. As the first company in the world to achieve dual certification under both the E-Stewards and R2 certification programs, ERI operates all of its facilities in accordance with the most stringent standards in the electronics recycling industry. The company, headquartered in Fresno, California, operates facilities around the country and expects to be hiring hundreds of additional workers to meet increased demand as responsible electronic recycling continues to become standard procedure for American businesses and consumers. ERI has already doubled in size over the past two years and anticipates continued rapid growth.
“We are very proud to stand alongside the other companies in our industry that are willing to recycle responsibly and do it here in the United States,” said John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of ERI. “This vital coalition stands in support of crucial proposed federal legislation and will help strengthen our industry here in the U.S., allowing us to create even more jobs while recovering valuable resources and protecting our homeland security.”
The U.S. generated more than 3.1 million tons of e-waste in 2009, according to U.S. EPA statistics. Electronic scrap contains high concentrations of toxic materials such as lead and cadmium and is classified as hazardous. However, a large percentage of e-waste collected for “recycling” is actually exported to developing countries that lack environmental and worker safeguards.
The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (S.1270 and HR 2284), introduced in June, would restrict toxic e-waste exports to developing countries that lack adequate safeguards for the environment and workers. The House bill is co-sponsored by Gene Green (D-TX), Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Steve LaTourette (R-OH). In the Senate, similar legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
The Coalition for American Electronics Recycling includes 29 U.S. companies involved in all aspects of the domestic electronics recycling and disposition industry, with 74 recycling operations in 34 states. The legislation is also supported by major electronics manufacturers and retailers, including Hewlett Packard, Dell, Apple, Samsung and Best Buy, as well as the Electronics Takeback Coalition, an environmental organization.
The legislation promotes business expansion and job growth through free trade of tested, working electronics and parts; separated and properly labeled commodities recovered from electronics, such as copper, steel and aluminum; and manufacturer warranty returns for repair within the original supply chain. The Coalition is actively working with both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which have jurisdiction over the bills as well as other Congressional offices who would benefit from the job creation from this legislation.