With the close of the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month, many in the sustainability industry are thinking about the flip side of that showcase of the latest tech gadgets — e-waste.
As reported, “a recent United Nations study shows the U.S. is the world’s biggest producer of electronic waste, more than one million tons ahead of China.” With e-waste rules firmly on the books across the country, the trend now seems to be towards greater enforcement. [Click here for a map of e-waste legislation across the country]
Recently, Comcast agreed to pay California $25.95 million for the improper disposal of hazardous waste (mainly e-waste). And the year before, AT&A faced almost $52 million in fines and other fees for similar violations. While California appears to be leading the way, it won’t be long before other states follow the crack down on e-waste being sent to landfills illegally.
Double Whammy: E-waste and Confidential Documents
In the case of Comcast, not only did investigators find e-waste in the trash headed for the landfill, but they also uncovered sensitive documents containing customer information that were dumped without shredding. Comcast’s multi-million dollar penalty covers both infractions.
So in this new year, check the laws in your area governing all types of waste to ensure you are in compliance. Not sure what’s going into your waste? You might want to do a waste audit.
- Great Forest Speaks With Curbed About E-Waste
- Fact Sheet: E-Waste and Universal Waste
- What To Look Out For When Dealing With Sensitive Documents