e-Waste Execs Found Guilty of Fraud | Print |  E-mail
Written by Mike Buetow   
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 15:54

DENVER -- A federal jury has convicted Executive Recycling and two of its top executives of dumping tossed-out electronics in developing countries.

Tor Olson and Brandon Richter were convicted of criminal charges for illegal export of hazardous waste, smuggling, obstruction of justice, and wire and mail fraud.

Richter was the former owner and CEO of Executive Recycling, an electronics recycler that also had locations in Utah and Nebraska. Executive Recycling has since changed its name to Techcycle.

The charges came after a watchdog organization observed and photographed 20 seagoing containers leaving the Executive Recycling loading docks and tracked them overseas. Basel Action Network gave the information to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Government Accountability Office, and CBS.

CBS later made the company the object of an investigative report on its 60 Minutes program.

Despite the conviction, BAN claims that such export activities are still common practice in North America and most companies get away with it.

"This conviction is very welcome, but sadly as we speak, there are many hundreds of other fake recyclers out there that are loading up Asian-bound containers full of our old toxic TVs and computers,” said executive director Jim Puckett. “Every day about 100 containers of toxic e-waste arrive in the Port of Hong Kong alone. We hope this conviction sends a very strong message to business and the public that they should only use the most responsible recyclers.”

BAN is calling for tighter federal legislation laws to put an end to the practice.

"Executive Recycling was caught this time,” Puckett said, “but it has been almost impossible for the government to prosecute this kind of very common activity due to a lack of appropriate legislation. If we can pass the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act in Congress we could put a quick halt to the horrors of criminal waste trafficking.”

 

 

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