US Recyclers Face 20 Years in Prison

Executive Recycling, a US-based electronic waste recycler, is charged of illegally exporting waste to China and other Asian developing countries.

The convicted conduct was first observed and photographed by Basel Action Network (BAN), the environmental watchdog. BAN then sent the material to US Environmental Protection Agency, the Government Accountability Office and CBS News.

The company was reported transporting 20 containers of e-waste from dock in Colorado to Hong Kong-a direct violation of the International Basel Convention, which prohibits the export of hazardous waste across national borders.

Computer parts, used printer cartridges, and other electronic waste were found in the containers, which are poisonous to the environment.

Brandon Richter and Tor Olsen, heads of the recycling company, are both facing up to 20 years in prison and up to $4 million charges when sentences are handed down in April 2013.

“This conviction is very welcome, but sadly as we speak, there are hundreds of other fake recyclers out there that are loading up Asia-bound containers full of our old toxic TVs and computers,” says Jim Puckett, executive director of BAN. “Every day, about 100 containers of toxic e-waste arrive in the Port of Hong Kong alone. We hope this conviction sends a very strong message to business and the public that they should only use the most responsible recyclers.”

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