Basel Action Network (BAN), a Seattle-based nonprofit that works to prevent the globalization of the toxic chemical crisis, has teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to add 200 geolocating tracking devices inside old computers, TVs and printers to follow what happens to the items when they drop them off at environmentally friendly donation centers, recyclers and electronic takeback programs.
Through this effort, BAN and MIT found that approximately one third of the electronics ended up overseas in countries like Taiwan, China, Pakistan, Thailand, Dominican Republic, Canada Kenya and Hong Kong.
KCTS 9 reveals more report findings:
High above the Pacific Ocean in a plane headed for Hong Kong, most of the passengers are fast asleep.
But not Jim Puckett. His eyes are fixed on the glowing screen of his laptop. Little orange markers dot a satellite image. He squints at the pixelated terrain trying to make out telltale signs.
He’s searching for America’s electronic waste.
“People have the right to know where their stuff goes,” he says.
. Dead electronics make up the world’s fastest growing source of waste. The United States produces more e-waste than any country in the world. Electronics contain toxic materials like lead and mercury, which can harm the environment and people. Americans send about 50,000 dump trucks worth of electronics to recyclers each year.