After complaints that EarthEcycle LLC, an Oklahoma electronics recycling company, violated agreements with various charities to properly recycle the hazardous electronics, the Environmental Protection Agency has filed a complaint and opened an investigation, according to the Post-Gazette.
Instead of properly recycling the electronics, EarthEcycle packed them into ocean-going containers and exported them to Korea and Hong Kong, alleges Basel Action Network (BAN), a group committed to curbing contamination from improperly disposed hazardous electronics.
EarthEcycle had entered into an agreement with the Pennsylvania Humane Society, which conducted an electronics recycling drive, under which EarthEcycle would contribute $10,000 for every 100,000 pounds of electronics collected. EarthEcycle has conducted similar programs with other charities. BAN has called them “fake recycling events.”
EPA’s administrative order charges EarthEcycle with the following:
- failure to make a hazardous determination
- failure to prepare a hazardous waste manifest
- unauthorized export of hazardous waste
- failure to provide notice of the regional [EPA] administrator of an intent to export cathode ray tubes for reuse
- failure to package the electronics
- failure to label and failure to mark them.
EarthEcycle’s owner, Jeff Nixon, has denied any wrongdoing.