BBC Highlights Public Sector E-Waste As An International Scandal

13 May 2010

We have recently received numerous emails and calls relating to a recent BBC3 programme, "Blood, Sweat & Luxuries: Gold and E-Waste" on 11 May 2010, where IT equipment from several high profile public sector organisations was shown to have made its way to a waste site in Ghana, where young children were seen scavenging for recoverable electronic components to sell for scrap value. This alleged illegal transportation of redundant IT equipment from the UK to Africa has raised questions about how any organisation can ensure that its redundant equipment is recycled or reused in a legal and morally responsible manner. The program can be viewed at the following link. http://bbc.co.uk/i/sch78/?t=38m46s

Comment from Director Jean-Pierre Naylor:

"This program highlights the concerns we have harboured for a while regarding the increasing number of less than scrupulous IT disposal companies currently operating. Whilst the Environment Agency are responsible for the monitoring of waste transfers, they are facing an almost impossible battle due to the ever increasing scale of waste production and these cowboy operators. Unfortunately this incident is not a one off, which is why companies should be extremely diligent when selecting their IT disposal partner."

Some key points regarding our processing and export policy:

We do not ship to Africa full stop
We only ever ship fully tested, working and warranted equipment abroad
We know the end destination of the working equipment
We process over 2,000,000kg of WEEE per annum
We refurbish and resell 75% of the redundant WEEE we bring in
The remaining 25% is recycled here in the UK
We guarantee 0% landfill
Where an item is recycled we report to our customers the percentage of raw materials recovered
We have won the coveted Green IT Awards 2010 'Recycling Scheme of the Year'


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