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Recycling Toxic Wastes

“Used Batteries From U.S. Expose Mexicans to Risk”

The export of hazardous electronic wastes, including lead acid batteries, to the developing world has irreparable public health effects in some of the most impoverished countries on earth.

Dumping-by-export of hazardous wastes is prohibited by an international treaty called the Basel Convention. Lead acid batteries and other used electronics are covered by this treaty.

While 175 countries have ratified that important treaty, three have not: Afghanistan, Haiti and the United States.

Under the guise of promoting “free trade,” lobbyists in Washington working for companies that claim to be “recyclers” but are primarily waste exporters have prevented the United States from banning the export of hazardous wastes, including electronic wastes.

And we are not only exporting poisons but jobs as well. According to a recent report from the Blue Green Alliance, a coalition of labor and environmental groups, if the United States increased its recycling rate to 75 percent, more than 1.5 million new jobs would be created.

Until the United States enacts a law banning the export of toxic wastes to developing countries, as all of Europe has done, anyone wishing to dispose of used electronics and be assured that their wastes are not poisoning children in poor countries should use only recyclers certified under the e-Stewards certification program.

ALLEN HERSHKOWITZ
New York, Dec. 9, 2011

The writer is a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

A version of this letter appeared in print on December 15, 2011, on page A38 of the New York edition with the headline: Recycling Toxic Wastes.


Full story can be found here


CURIOSITY QUEST GOES GREEN: Battery Recycling

CURIOSITY QUEST GOES GREEN: Battery Recycling

Educational:
(schools, libraries and government agencies)


Did you know that it is illegal in the state of California to throw away your old batteries? Join host Joel Greene as he explores how batteries can be recycled.


Curiosity Quest Goes Green is an upbeat, family, educational program on PBS that explores what viewers are curious about....In Curiosity Quest Goes Green, each episode is also dedicated to raising awareness of earth-friendly issues