There’s nothing quite like the stomach-churning aroma of discarded electronics rotting atop piles of wrecked vehicles and compost topped with a light drizzle of battery acid and various automotive fluids. Irresponsible waste will be an unfortunate occurrence for years to come, but the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has taken one step to alleviate some of the problem by endorsing the first certification program for recycling electronics.
As explained by Earth 911, the e-Stewards Certification and Standards program, which is spearheaded by the Basel Action Network (BAN), is a “fully accredited certification program which utilizes independent third-party auditors to verify safe and ethical disposal of electronic waste” by way of distinguishing responsible recyclers who do not rely on unsafe electronics recycling and disposal methods, such as municipal landfill disposal.
In a release issued by the NRDC, the initiative was said to be “sorely needed” according to NRDC Senior Scientist Dr. Allen Hershkowitz. “Many e-waste recyclers claim to be green, but in reality they rely on unsafe and ecologically damaging methods like dumping millions of tons of toxic waste each year in China, India and Africa. E-Stewards provide businesses and consumers with a first-of-a-kind seal to identify the truly responsible recyclers.” Businesses that step up their efforts to properly do away with electronics will be noted as e-Stewards Enterprises; the first such businesses will be announced in March.