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Basel Action Network to spin-off e-Stewards e-Waste Certification Program

June 27, 2012

Environmentalists release “request for qualifications” document appealing for company to oversee program.

Basel Action Network (BAN) is calling for non-profit or for-profit organisations that are able to manage the e-Stewards Standards Certification program on a global scale.

BAN lists the role of the organisations to include overseeing the quality control of the program, providing services to the growing community of e-Stewards Certified recyclers, which currently includes 106 facilities in four countries, and updating and maintaining the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment.

It is hoped by BAN that the spin off will increase the e-Steward program’s independence and allow the company to focus on its primary objective of “educating and advocating to prevent toxic trade and promote a toxic free future for all”, as well as allowing it to pursue new reforms and advance global trade policy.

The e-Stewards Standard and Certification program was introduced in 2010 following a previous standard, R2 Practices, resulting in a standard deemed too weak to prevent e-waste abuses, and is now the only certification that prevents the export of e-waste to developing countries.

Robert Houghton, President of Redemtech, one of the founders of the e-Stewards initiative, commented: “BAN has changed the face of our industry with its research and investigations. Independent management of its landmark e-Stewards certification will both allow the program to grow in a business environment and allow BAN to focus on the advocacy it does so effectively.”

With BAN estimating that “50 percent to 80 percent” of companies calling themselves e-waste recyclers in North America actually export e-waste to countries lacking the required infrastructure to handle it, Jim Puckett, President of BAN commented:  “There remains a crying need to provide customers for electronics recyclers with assurances that their old TV, computer or cell phone will in fact be recycled properly here at home and not simply be dumped in the rice paddies in China or be burned by children in Ghana […]

“We have launched a program to identify and certify the good guys. We will now turn our attention to ensuring that every US consumer and company demands that their e-waste is only handled by the recycling industry’s great leaders and not the great pretenders.”

The deadline for responses to the request for qualifications for management of the e-Stewards Certification is 15 July 2012, with applicants being notified of any decisions by 1 September 2012.

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