The Seattle based Basel Action Network (BAN) has announced it will make regular use of embedded GPS-based tracking devices placed into used electronic equipment to verify the performance of e-Stewards certified recyclers.
The e-Stewards Standard and certification program was created by BAN as a way for recyclers to comply with international agreements prohibiting the export of certain types of electronic scrap to developing countries.
By using geo-locating trackers as part of a project earlier in 2016, BAN says it was able to determine that 40 percent of the monitors and printers it delivered to U.S. electronics recyclers were exported, often to developing countries.
"Sadly, once the auditor is gone, it is far too easy for unscrupulous recyclers to fill containers and ship hazardous e-waste to developing countries in contravention of international law,” says Sarah Westervelt, policy director of the e-Stewards program. “But e-Stewards recyclers want to be 'caught doing the right thing.’ At our recent recycler meeting, they unanimously endorsed the idea of the ongoing use of trackers.”
A news release from BAN says e-Stewards certification is now the only electronics recycling certification in the world that uses GPS tracking technology to verify performance. BAN says it expects “many large customers will be greatly comforted by this development.”