Can certification solve E-waste problems?

The Netherlands-based Ewaste Foundation is hoping certification can help defuse E-waste dumping into developing countries such as Africa and China coming from European as well as from the US.

How it works? It’s like buying those carbon offset credits but unlike tree planting, your money will be used to to process and dismantle the corresponding amount of e-waste in developing countries (in an ecologically and socially responsible way of course). The foundation said they have close cooperation with their certified local e-waste disassembly projects to do that job.

The hazardous parts (such as the capacitors, batteries, and CRT glass) are then shipped out of the developing countries to places where they are processed in an environmentally correct way.

If you or your company want to neutralize the carbon footprint of your electronic equipment (each certificate can apply to one piece or a batch of electronic equipment), the “E-Waste Neutral” certificate includes the date, the type and amount of equipment you neutralized with your certificate. You can enter or upload the serial numbers from your equipment. These then can be searched for by everyone via their ITEM CHECKER, to proof they indeed have been neutralized.

“To address the e-waste problem in developing countries in a structural way, more is needed than just bringing back the hazardous leftovers,” says Ewaste Foundation founder Paul de Jong. “We bring together practical knowledge and capabilities through our broad network. Also, we personally give local initiatives practical assistance for them to become successful.”

I guess you may not know where the final destination of your old electronic equipment goes but at least your conscience tells you that there is an equivalent e-waste that will be handled with sustainable care and out of the toxic dumping ground being handled by children from Africa or China.

[Photo from Greenpeace]

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