For more than 15 years, massive volumes of hazardous electronic waste (e-waste) have been shipped from the US to poorer communities. There, instead of being properly recycled, the e-waste is smashed, burned, melted, and washed in acid baths in dangerous substandard recycling operations that harm workers, communities and the environment.
The US is the only developed country in the world to export our toxic e-waste. Our most recent study found that almost 40% of electronic waste delivered to US recyclers is being shipped offshore – mostly to Asia. Residents in these communities are horrified to learn they are taking in our toxic e-waste.
This global dumping not only harms the environment and the health of workers abroad, but it also directly affects the United States by costing us green jobs and threatening our national security. Additionally, responsible domestic recycling companies are unable to compete with the much cheaper dumpers, and counterfeiters use the dumped e-waste as a way to find computer chips they can replicate with corrupt versions that end up in the military supply chain.
The Federal government of the United States is the largest producer of electronic waste on the planet and Obama with a stroke of his pen via Executive Order can not only block this source but at the same time send a strong message that global environmental justice shall not be denied. So no matter where you live on earth, join us is our effort to press Obama to prohibit the export of the federal government’s toxic e-waste to developing countries!
So far, all efforts to prohibit the export of electronic waste from the US have been blocked by a dysfunctional congress. But with your voice and signature, President Obama can stop the largest single source of electronic waste from being dumped overseas – the e-waste from the US federal government!
For more information on our petition visit: www.ban.org/why-obama-must-act
For information on the e-Trash Transparency Project’s Findings and to find out where the public's e-waste is going, visit: www.ban.org/trash-transparency
For a scrapbook of US federal asset tags we've discovered from around the world visit: www.ban.org/s/Scrapbook.pdf
You have long been a strong leader on environment, jobs and national security. As your term is nearing its completion, we ask you to take another stand for all three of these issues with one very logical Executive Order: to require all non-functional used electronic equipment or electronic scrap generated or arising from Federal Agencies or Departments, be processed only in the United States.
This Executive Order will ensure that the US government leads by example and stops allowing toxic electronic wastes, owned by the Federal Government, to be exported to developing countries around the world. Because the US has not ratified the Basel Convention, American recyclers and waste brokers can legally export toxic wastes to countries in Africa and in Asia where they are handled in very harmful, polluting circumstances, endangering the environment and human health.
A recent study by the Basel Action Network, using tracking devices to monitor the flows of e-waste found almost 40% of the e-waste delivered to “electronics recyclers” is actually exported to developing countries – mostly to China, which has forbidden their import!
Exporting toxic waste not only harms the environment and worker health, but also displaces green jobs here in the United States of America. Responsible domestic recycling companies cannot compete with global dumpers. Further, as has been recently noted in a Congressional hearing on May 25th of this year, these exports provide the feedstock for substandard and defective counterfeit IC chips that infect the military and vital electronics supply chains.
Efforts to prohibit the export of electronic waste from the US have so far been blocked by a dysfunctional congress. But you have authority over all of the Federal Agency waste! In fact, the US federal government is the largest single generator of electronic waste on the planet! This Executive Order will, thus, both send a message AND it will prevent the export of harm to countless laborers across the globe, while providing safe, green jobs at home, and safeguarding our security! We urge you to sign this executive order as a matter of priority!
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