I am now considering a new Pledge.
My company pledges not to ship "toxics along for the ride" to poor countries which cannot properly recycle electronic scrap.
We promise to remove non-repairable electronics junk from reuse loads prior to export. We will domestically recycle any focus materials which have mercury-bearing, lead-bearing, cadmium-bearing, or other hazardous electronic scrap. We will constantly monitor our CRT glass, printed circuit boards, and battery scrap to ensure it is properly recycled. We will not allow those items to pass into the export market as "toxics along for the ride".
For material we export, we promise to monitor the final outcome of each export container, and to effectively deal with and pay for any residue which was not reused or repaired by paying the companies. We promise to maintain on average 80% final reuse or better, and to constantly find ways to improve and eliminate waste. We promise to maintain records of each shipment for 3 years, to prove that whatever we exported for reuse was in fact reused and not disposed.
For the majority of computer and electronics material which is NOT reusable, we will also be accountable. We promise to support USA-certified leaded CRT and printed circuit board recyclers who create employment and screen valuable materials from "ewaste" streams in our domestic market. We promise to buy reuse and sell reuse equipment only from companies which practice our standards, and do not ship "toxics along for the ride".
We will use civil law agreements, contracts, quality assurance and quality control to enforce this Pledge. We will draft strong purchase order language which provides the export market the materials they can reuse and which provides for recycling of any material they cannot remove, and which provides detailed standards to eliminate the material they cannot reuse from future shipments.
We promise to provide and certify the following data:
- Percentage of printed circuit boards recycled
- Percentage of CRT glass recycled
- Enough employees per ton to account for that recycling
- Documentation on each sea container shipped
We pledge to show our USA clients the domestic and export records, so that they know that the material we exported was properly and legally managed, and that the material we did not allow to be exported was processed responsibly.
What do you think? Does this alternative Pledge have legs? The point is that we were "disqualified" from the BAN Pledge based on our disclosure that we exported 22.5% of the equipment. We managed the other 77.5% either in our own plant or by sending it to a contract facility under agreement with a contract enforceable by an attorney general (ERI, URT, Colt, RMG).
This whole dispute with BAN could have been avoided if they had done something to acknowledge that the 22.5% exports (primarily to contract manufacturers) was legal and ethical. Instead, they labelled it e-waste dumping and told Americans that those factories are "poisoning people".
I want to defend the legitimate reuse market without returning to the "bad old days" of using sea containers as dumpsters.