A recycling company that specializes in the recycling of old cell phones and other forms of electronic waste has been implicated in the illegal exporting of that waste to Africa. Environment Waste Controls (EWC), one of the biggest recyclers of used cell phones and other forms of electrical items in the whole of the United Kingdom, has confessed that some electrical waste from its sites in the south of London have been shipped to Africa in flagrant disregard of regulations specifically designed to prevent electronic waste being dumped on developing countries. Many of these countries have neither the knowledge nor the resources to dispose of them properly and end up harming the environment and being potentially dangerous to human health as well.
BBC television series “Panorama” teamed up with the Environmental Investigation Agency, using GPS to track the passage of the electronic waste. “When disposing of used electrical goods at civic amenity sites, the public has a right to expect that the equipment will be disposed of in accordance with the law,” the Environmental Investigation Agency says.
For their part, Environment Waste Controls has copped to the charge and issued an apology. “This is unacceptable and EWC has put in place measures to prevent a reoccurrence of this practice and to undertake a full investigation in cooperation with the regulator and relevant authorities. We have instructed all our sub contractors that no electronic equipment deposited at designated collection facilities operated by EWC should leave the UK until further notice.”