Encourages recycling of electronic devices


Americans throw more than 350,000 cell phones and 130,000 computers away every day. Approximately 80 percent of electronic waste delivered to recyclers is actually exported to developing countries. This is often done because health and labor policies, I believe, are inadequate or not enforced. Places such as Ghana; Guiyu, China, and Delhi, India, receive this electronic waste and make their living by taking the products apart and extracting precious substances such as copper, gold and iron.

The U.S. is the only industrialized country that has refused to ratify the Basal Convention - a treaty designed to regulate the export of hazardous waste to developing nations. It is cheaper for U.S. companies to send e-waste overseas. We are culprits of what I see as environmental injustice. However, there is a way to take a stand.

Rather than throwing gadgets away, citizens of Whatcom County can donate their items or they can take their old and used electronics to the electronic recycling facility RELelectronics in Bellingham. Their mission is "to solve the problem of e-waste in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, and San Juan counties in an environmentally safe and socially conscience way."

Shannon Maxon


Bellingham Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service