Friday, November 7, 2008

60 Minutes Exposes Toxic E-waste

60 Minutes corresondent Scott Pelley and crew went to China to investigate illegal smuggling of "E-waste (electronic waste)." Pelley's investigation will be broadcast this Sunday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Blurbs from the article posted on

60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley and crew got roughed up at a Chinese dump while working on a story on toxic electronic waste.

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.

"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.

Wait...before you recycle that...

What YOU can do before you recycle your paper!


  • Use email, voicemail and bulletin boards to circulate branch or district-wide messages.
  • Save and proof documents electronically rather than printing a hard copy.
  • Think before you print (do you need to print every email...)!

  • Use both sides of the paper and print double-sided in copiers/printers.
  • Make scratch paper from otherwise waste paper.
  • Reuse envelopes or use two-way envelopes.
  • Use manila folders for multiple projects.
  • Reuse cardboard boxes for storage or shipping.
  • Use paper for projects, wrapping gifts, etc!

What other ideas do you have for REDUCING and REUSING before RECYCLING?

Stores that recycle your stuff!

Stores that recycle your stuff
By Lori Bongiorno

Wondering what to do with all the broken, used up, and unwanted stuff accumulating in your home? In some cases, you can take it back to a store. A growing number of retailers are offering programs that make it easy for you to responsibly recycle castaways. So, next time you go shopping consider packing more than just your reusable shopping bags. Here's a sampling of some national programs.

Aveda collects water, soda, detergent, and shampoo plastic bottle caps at its retail stores and some of its salons. Caps are recycled and used to make new Aveda packaging.

Best Buy takes cell phones, rechargeable batteries, and ink jet cartridges at all its U.S. stores. You can learn about its weekend recycling events and other programs at the company's website.
Home Depot has a recycling program for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), cell phones, and rechargeable batteries available at all of its stores in the continental U.S. and Canada.

Ikea takes plastic bags, CFLs, and batteries at its 35 U.S. stores.

Office Depot will give you a $3 coupon for every ink or toner cartridge you bring in. Drop off old cell phones and rechargeable batteries for free. For other tech trash, Office Depot sells Tech Recycling boxes (for $5, $10, or $15 depending on size) that you can fill with an unlimited amount of electronics and hand back. Check out its website for more details and other recycling programs.

Radio Shack accepts old cell phones and rechargeable batteries. They also have an online program that's worth looking at.

Staples offers free recycling for smaller electronics (like cell phones, PDAs, and rechargeable batteries) and computer peripherals (such as mice, key boards, and computer speakers). Bring in your old computer, printer, or other office technology and pay a $10 fee for recycling. You'll also get $3 in Staples Rewards when you recycle HP, Lexmark or Dell ink and toner cartridges. Find your nearest store here.

The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. accept clean packaging peanuts for reuse at many of their locations. Each franchise is individually owned so you should call your local store before making the trip. Click on these links to find your closest options: The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc.

Wal-Mart takes plastic bags, used car batteries, motor oil, and oil filters at all of its locations.

Whole Foods Market has different programs in each of its stores so find out the details about your local market. Here's a small sampling of what you can potentially unload: Crocs, batteries, cell phones, inkjet cartridges, CFLs, plastic grocery bags, light plastics (six pack holders, dry cleaning, bags, newspaper bags, etc.), and wine corks (in Northern California starting in November).

Try searching Earth 911's extensive database for other local options.