SURREY (NEWS1130) – An electronics recycling company in Surrey has been charged 24 times with smuggling hazardous waste to China. The company is accused of adding to that country’s environmental and health problems.
Seattle based watchdog Jeff Puckett with Basel Action Network says Electronics Recycling Canada is externalizing costs onto the environment so it can do things a lot cheaper overseas. “China has forbidden all imports of hazardous electronic waste into their territory and this company is infamous for breaking those laws.”
He says women and children are being exposed to very toxic materials in Macau, China. “They are burning and using acids, smashing things to get the copper out. So you have a very toxic medley for the people that are unfortunate enough to work there.”
Puckett says ERC has a lot of very active local contracts. “We have eyewitnesses of Surrey materials arriving at ERC, traffic lights, we’ve seen materials from hospitals, we’ve seen materials from the Surrey library.”
Puckett argues the federal government is not doing enough to regulate offenders, adding there are a number of companies like this one doing the same things. He says these charges under the environmental protection act are a start.
He says in the past the government has simply fined other companies caught doing this.
“The government just seems to be sitting on their hands, the little prosecuting they do is very tepid and very weak and is not going to change anything because these guys can make $2000 on each shipment,” he says.