GreenYes Archives

[GreenYes Home] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]

[GreenYes] BAN to appear on CBS's 60 Minutes this Sunday

Heads up!!

Watch 60 Minutes Sunday night ... an expose on illegal escrap exports.

Even in progressive Boulder, Colorado, Eco-Cycle has had a hard time keeping our local municipalities, school districts and trash haulers from using the "free" computer recycling services offered by one particular business in Denver.   We tried to explain that clean escrap recovery cost money, and that the BAN Pledge for True Stewardship was in place to protect us all.   But we didn't win all the arguments.

So thank you 60 Minutes for doing this ... now maybe we can all put the "free" computer recyclers out of business.


From: "Basel Action Network" <Basel_Action_Network@no.address>
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2008 3:28 PM
To: eric@no.address
Subject: BAN to appear on CBS's 60 Minutes this Sunday

Dear friends, colleagues and other supporters of the Basel Action Network:

This Sunday evening (November 9), BAN will be featured in CBS's News Magazine "60 Minutes" when they take a close look at e-waste exports from the US to China.   We would be honored if you make a note to watch a the appointed hour!

Following the program, you can learn more about what BAN and the Electronic TakeBack Coalition are doing about this problem.  Please Visit the Following Websites: 

Where you can find a Responsible Recycler:
Where you can learn more about global e-waste dumping:
Where you can learn about efforts to achieve an export ban in federal legislation:

Yours, Jim Puckett, Sarah Westervelt

60 min.jpg


November 6, 2008





60 MINUTES Follows the Trail of Electronic Waste Shipped Illegally from the U.S.


When Scott Pelley and his crew went to China to record the black market dismantling of electronic waste, or "e-waste," the experience was almost as hazardous for the 60 MINUTES team as working with the toxic material is for poor Chinese workers. Jumped by a gang of men overseeing the e-waste operations who tried to take the CBS team's cameras, Pelley's crew managed to escape and bring back footage of the hazardous activities. Pelley's investigation will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Nov. 9 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Click here to watch an excerpt.

            The Chinese attackers were trying to protect a lucrative business of mining the e-waste­junked computers, televisions and other old electronic products­for valuable components, including gold.  "They're afraid of being found out. This is smuggling. This is illegal," says Jim Puckett, founder of the Basel Action Network, a group working to stop the dumping of toxic materials in poor countries that certifies ethical e-waste recyclers in the United States.  "A lot of people are turning a blind eye here. And if somebody makes enough noise, they're afraid this is all going to dry up."

E-waste workers in Guiyu, China, where Pelley's team videotaped, put up with the dangerous conditions for the $8 a day the job pays.  They use caustic chemicals and burn the plastic parts to get at the valuable components, often releasing toxins that they not only inhale, but release into the air, the ground and the water.  Potable water must now be trucked into Guiyu and scientists have discovered that the city has the highest levels of cancer-causing dioxins in the world.  Pregnancies in Guiyu are six times more likely to result in miscarriages, and seven out of 10 children there have too much lead in their blood.

Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, outlines the e-waste pollutants and their effects.  "Lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, and polyvinyl chloride, all of these materials have known toxicological effects that range from brain damage, kidney disease, to mutations, cancers," he tells Pelley.  And there's no shortage of refuse that contains these hazardous materials. "We throw out about 130,000 computers every day in the United States.we throw out over 100 million cell phones every year," says Hershkowitz.

A great deal of this American e-waste winds up in places like Guiyu. In fact, even some companies promising to recycle it safely will illegally export it, as 60 MINUTES reveals. While visiting a Colorado recycling operation, 60 MINUTES videotaped and noted the serial number of a container full of cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors, generally illegal to export because of high lead content.  The container was then shipped to Hong Kong, where local law prohibits the import of toxic e-waste.

When Pelley confronted him with evidence of the export, the owner of the Colorado recycling company denied filling the shipping container found on his lot and says his company would not sell scrap CRT monitors or television screens overseas.  But 60 MINUTES learned that the company, and 42 other American firms just like it, were recently caught in a government sting. They all offered to break the law by selling such e-waste when solicited by a federal agent posing as a foreign importer.

*    *    *
Press Contact:                                       Kevin Tedesco   212 975-2329  kev@no.address

Past episodes of 60 Minutes are available in 3 forms:
1. You can purchase selected 60 Minutes segments on DVD from or the CBS News Archives.
2. Each single story is assigned a link for people to embed or share via emails. Something like this:
A piece on e-waste story will have its own link, which we can post on our website - but possibly it will be only available for a certain period, like 1 month.
3. Individual episodes are up on their website in the form of Podcast. They are downloadable from the 60 Minutes website but each file has an entire one hour show - combining a couple of stories. As of today, the episodes all the way back to March 9th, 2008 are up on their website.

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply to this message with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line or simply click on the following link: Unsubscribe

Basel Action Network
129 South Jackson St.
Suite 320
Seattle, Washington 98105

Read the VerticalResponse marketing policy.

Non-Profits Email Free with VerticalResponse!

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "GreenYes" group.
To post to this group, send email to GreenYes@no.address
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to GreenYes+unsubscribe@no.address
For more options, visit this group at

[GreenYes Home] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]