I saw a very informative, yet upsetting, documentary on CBC the other week. It looked at the recycling of electronics. Now if I were to get a new iPod/cell phone/laptop and found no one who wanted the old ones I would be a responsible consumer and take it to an electronics recycling company so they could take out all the valuable and/or hazardous materials and save them from the evil landfill. And I probably would have found said recycler via an internet search along the lines of “vancouver electronics recycler”. Done.
Had I gone to Techno Trash (a company featured in the documentary), my item would have been placed in a container and shipped to Hong Kong, despite the fact that it is ILLEGAL to ship electronic waste from Canada to China. Once over there workers trying to make a living would be exposed to dangerous conditions involving harmful chemicals and materials in order to salvage the valuable pieces.
Other companies the documentary visited also followed the same path. Distraught and confused about what to do with my electronics, I was told about Geep, a company that actually recycles electronics right here in Canada like all the others say they do. Whew, I didn’t want to have to use my same laptop for the next 30 years to avoid throwing it away. Close call.
This really showed me that you can’t always trust what companies say they do, even ‘green’ companies, although I often do. Why would a company concerned with the environment lie to consumer? Cuz’ you can make a buck at the expense of the environment. Take the time to do a little research for your self and find the companies that do it right, in all areas. This is a case of green-washing to the extreme.