Hey Feds: Manage Your Toxic E-Waste Responsibly!

The federal government is one of the largest purchasers of electronics in the United States. That means that every day our government generates untold tons of highly toxic, electronic waste.

So here’s the $64,000 public health question:  are our government agencies doing the right thing with their old computers, monitors, printers, copiers, and other electronics?  Are they recycling them in a way that protects people from the mercury, lead, PVC, phthalates, flame retardants, and other dangerous substances lurking inside these slick machines?

The Obama administration has created a task force to develop a policy on how federal agencies should handle their e-waste.  Three cheers!  It’s high time the government took this problem seriously. 

Under the guise of reuse, many “recyclers” in this country currently ship obsolete, broken, and useless electronics to developing countries, a policy that has created some of our world’s most horrifically toxic sites. (Learn more here.)

Unacceptable.  Our government should never contribute to a problem that is ravaging communities and ecosystems anywhere in the world.  The feds can do better, and it’s our job to make sure they do.

Urge the federal government to issue a policy that clearly states “no U.S. government e-waste will be exported to developing countries.”  Used products going abroad for reuse should only be exported if they are tested and fully functional.

Our government’s toxic e-waste shouldn’t worsen the global electronics crisis! The task force has asked for public comments by Wednesday March 16.

It’s time to create jobs and manage our government’s e-waste safely here at home!

(In the meantime, CEH continues working hard to create a market for safer electronics. . .)