John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the nation’s leading recycler of electronic waste, was interviewed by PBS’ Foreign Affairs reporter P.J. Tobia for a PBS NewsHour “ShortWave” podcast feature titled “How the Pentagon Gets Fooled Into Buying Back its Own Garbage.”
The segment delved into the issue of US-generated e-waste making its way to foreign shores and being incorporated unethically into “new” electronic components. These are then sold back to American consumers and government agencies. Shegerian argued that the only legitimate solution to the problem is to properly recycle e-waste.
“The U.S. government spends billions of dollars a year on electronics,” explained Shegerian, “making it the largest buyer of IT products in the world. When those electronics break or become obsolete – which is inevitable – they become e-waste, the fastest growing source of garbage in the world, according to the United Nations. There is a flood of counterfeit technology making its way to our shores, and it is putting our national security at risk. This is absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped. All electronic devices should be recycled responsibly by ethical recyclers.”
Former U.S. Senator Carl Levin was also interviewed for the story and he mirrored Shegerian’s concerns.
The full-length podcast version of the story, featuring Shegerian’s comments, can be heard at: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/pentagon-getting-duped-buying-back-ewaste/.