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Carbondale nonprofit used embroiled Front Range recycler

Pete Fowler
pfowler@postindependent.com
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” It’s possible some old computer parts donated to a Carbondale nonprofit may have ended up in an illegal “e-waste” site in China.

Computers For Kids has been using a Front Range recycling company accused of illegally exporting unwanted computer monitors that it claims to recycle.

Federal agents with the Environmental Protection Agency and Immigration and Customs Enforcement executed a search warrant Jan. 23 at the company headquarters of Executive Recycling Inc. in Englewood.



A Seattle nonprofit called Basel Action Network said it tracked 21 shipments from Executive Recycling to overseas ports in places like China and Peru between November 2007 and March 2008, according to the Denver Business Journal. Of concern are hazardous items like cathode-ray-tube monitors. The glass in the tubes contains lead and can be toxic. The Executive Recycling CEO said he believed the equipment was going to be legitimately reused domestically and that Executive was the victim of fraud.

Computers For Kids (C4K) collects unwanted computers, refurbishes them and distributes them within the community. It says on its website, “If the computer doesn’t meet C4K standards for refurbishment, your equipment will be recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.”



Kirsten McDaniel, C4K executive director, said in an e-mail Tuesday, “We have used Executive Recycling in the past but we do not currently. We have received a certificate of recycle for each and every shipment we have sent to Executive Recycling in the past.”

Messages requesting more information Wednesday weren’t returned.

Mike Wyatt, of Fairplay-based Buffalo Peaks Recycling, said he called C4K in Carbondale in June or July to ask if C4K was interested in paying him to transport recyclable material to other recyclers, and he was told C4K was using Executive Recycling. He said he called back after CBS 60 Minutes aired a show in November in which hazardous electronic waste was filmed leaving Executive’s yard and tracked to an illegal electronic wasteland in China.

“I wanted to ask them if they were interested in submitting a bid to a more legitimate recycler,” Wyatt said. “I never got a call back.”

He added, “What C4K does initially is a good thing. It’s what happens to all the stuff that they don’t want.”

CBS quoted one scientist saying electronic waste is the fastest growing part of “the municipal waste stream worldwide,” and “we throw out about 130,000 computers every day in the U.S.”

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

pfowler@postindependent.com


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