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[greenyes] NRC Press Release on E-Scrap Management in Gulf



Kate Krebs, Executive Director

National Recycling Coalition

Office: 202-347-0450, ext. 23

Mobile: 202-222-8843


National Recycling Coalition Urges Recycling and Reuse

of Electronics in Wake of Hurricanes

Washington, DC (October 19, 2005) - The National Recycling Coalition (NRC)
supports state efforts across the U.S. to maximize recycling and reuse of
used electronics to ensure that these products do not pollute our
environment and instead conserve resources and create jobs. Therefore, NRC
disagrees with advice provided by the Solid Waste Management Association of
North America (SWANA) and the National Solid Wastes Management Association
(NSWMA) stating that these materials can be safely disposed of in community
solid waste landfills. In its report on disaster debris management after
Hurricane Katrina, SWANA offers recommendations that, if followed, NRC
believes will compound the already significant environmental disaster in the

SWANA states: "Computers, TV's, monitors, and other electronic devices pose
no real hazard to landfills. Most e-waste can be easily handled within
conventional waste collection and disposal methods." This advice fails to
convey that numerous states have singled out electronic products as a direct
threat to the environment when disposed, and as a result, have enacted
strict laws and regulations banning their disposal and landfilling.

For example, the Maine Office of Environmental Protection has stated that
electronic wastes, such as televisions, computers and computer components,
contain a number of toxic materials that can be released upon disposal,
posing a threat to human health and the environment. The Minnesota Office of
Environmental Assistance calculated that CRTs from computer monitors and
televisions are the single largest source of lead in Minnesota's municipal
waste, containing 5-8 pounds of lead per unit. Research by the California
Department of Toxic Substances Control's Hazardous Materials Laboratory
found that laptops and LCD monitors exceed California's hazardous waste

"Electronic products contain hazardous materials, including lead and
mercury. Given that several states banned the disposal of CRTs and other
electronics products, NRC believes it is irresponsible to negate the risk
posed by disposing of electronic scrap," says Kate Krebs, NRC executive

NRC supports recycling and reusing as many of the electronic products
damaged by the recent hurricanes as possible. If products can't be safely
recycled or reused, NRC believes disposal in a state-permitted hazardous
waste disposal facility is the only responsible option. "Recycling
electronic products captures valuable materials, fuels economic activity,
and diverts hazardous materials from disposal," says Krebs.

NRC has formed a technical assistance team of members with expertise in
disaster clean-up who are advising Gulf Coast officials in ways to safely
manage and recycle materials.

About the National Recycling Coalition

Founded in 1978, the National Recycling Coalition, Inc. (NRC) is a nonprofit
501(c)(3) organization representing all the diverse interests committed to
the common goal of maximizing recycling to achieve the benefits of resource
conservation, solid waste reduction, environmental protection, energy
conservation and social and economic development. Its 4,000 members include
recycling and environmental organizations; large and small businesses;
federal, state and local governments; and individuals. The Coalition, based
in Washington, D.C., provides technical education, disseminates public
information on selected recycling issues, shapes public and private policy
on recycling and operates programs that encourage recycling markets and
economic development. For more information, please visit

Michael Alexander

Senior Research Associate

National Recycling Coalition

P.O. Box 97

Brattleboro, Vermont 05301

(802) 254-3338

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