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What Electronics Recyclers Donít Want You To Know

Many electronics "recyclers" (exporters) pick up decommissioned equipment for pennies or even free of charge just to put it into a container and ship it to a third world country to collect money on the pound. Don't be fooled, even if they demanufacture the equipment at their facility, they are likely separating the parts into bins for export. Not only does exporting break international law, but it puts companies such as yours at risk for not performing Due Diligance when chosing such a vendor. It also perpetuates social and environmental injustices around the world and preys on those people that are already struggling to survive.

As an e-Steward founder (www.e-stewards.org), Hesstech offers the nation's most environmentally sound recycling services for all types of electronics and laboratory equipment. We refuse to export electronic waste and provide a completely domestic solution. Our clients are encouraged to tour our facility and have a transparent view of all our downstream markets.

Please take a moment to view the pictures below and see what a profound effect your choice can have when picking a vendor to manage your decommissioned electronics.

Young woman cleaning fish in the exact place where imported electronic waste is also cleaned and processed. Guiyu, China. May 2008 ©2008 Basel Action Network (BAN)

A view inside the burn houses where women sit by the fireplaces and cook imported computer parts. Guiyu, China. May 2008 ©2008 Basel Action Network (BAN)

CRTs piled more than 4 meters high in an imported e-Waste smuggling depot in Hong Kong's New Territories area. e-Wastes are brought here in sea-going containers from the port and offloaded, sorted prior to loading into trucks heading into mainland China. Guiyu, China. May 2008 ©2008 Basel Action Network (BAN)

Man sweeping toner out of printer cartridge. Toners are made of carbon black -- a class 2A probable carcinogen (IARC). The toner billows in his face all day long without respiratory protection of any kind. Cartridges are later dumped by the river. Guiyu, China. December 2001. ©2006 Basel Action Network (BAN)

Laborer heating aqua regia -- a mixture of 5% pure nitric acid and 75&perc; pure hydrochloric acid -- a mixture that will dissolve gold. Without any respiratory protection workers inhale acid fumes, chlorine and sulphur dioxide gas all day as they swirl computer chips removed from circuit boards in acid to collect tiny amounts of gold. The sludges from the process are dumped directly into the river. Guiyu, China. December 2001. ©2006 Basel Action Network

This migrant labor family lives in a shelter made from bags of imported electronic waste with a tarp over it in the burning village. Burn houses are a stone's throw away. The air everywhere is thick with the smoke of burning computer parts. Guiyu, China. May 2008 ©2008 Basel Action Network (BAN)

Just some of the many labels found on computers and monitors which indicated to investigators where each load of computers originated. Guiyu, China. December 2001. ©2006 Basel Action Network (BAN)

Electronic waste along a stream in Guiyu region of China.

Imported e-wastes that cannot be recycled pile up along side the many waterways in the Guiyu region. Guiyu, China. May 2008 ©2008 Basel Action Network (BAN)


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