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Not All Recycling is Good for the Environment

May 3, 2010

WORCESTER, Mass. - E-waste recycling is a good thing, but only if it's done in a "good" way. That's the idea behind a new program that ensures old computers and other electronics are being disposed of in ways that won't harm people or the environment. The new e-Stewards certification program should help Massachusetts residents choose a responsible recycler.

Stephanie Rico, vice president of Environmental Affairs with Wells Fargo Bank, says her company backs the program.

"The e-Stewards program really makes it easy for consumers to know and be confident that their e-waste is ending up being handled in the most responsible way possible."

Rico says Wells Fargo intends to only use recyclers with e-Steward Certification, and hopes its customers do the same.

"We know that our customers care about environmental issues; we care about environmental issues; and we want to make it known that we're doing what we can to keep our e-waste out of places where it does not belong."

In order to earn the e-Stewards standard, recyclers pledge not to export hazardous e-waste to developing countries, or dump such waste in municipal landfills or incinerators. Bay Staters can find an e-Stewards recycler in their city by going to www.e-stewards.org.

Rico says Wells Fargo intends to only use recyclers with e-Stewards certification, and hopes its customers do the same.

"We know that our customers care about environmental issues; we care about environmental issues; and we want to make it known that we're doing what we can to keep our e-waste out of places where it does not belong."

The certification program was created by the Basel Action Network, which first documented the dumping of toxic electronic waste in China and Africa at the beginning of the decade. It is the first such program backed by environmental organizations as well as major corporations.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA