An associate of mine stumbled across something that pissed him off. These shots were taken at the back of Swanpack Stratford Ewaste, a sometime e-waste recycler here in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.
Computer guys like me, and the public in general, trust these companies to take our dead computer junk and properly deal with it, not put it in a big pile behind some building. This is not proper storage of computer waste. Computers can’t be stored outside, exposed to elements, were they can corrode and break down.
When it comes to e-waste, you often hear the term landfill diversion but a better one might be environmental diversion. Dead computers, CRT monitors in particular, aren’t like scrap metal where you can pile it in a yard somewhere. Computers are filled with all sorts of nasty substances like mercury, lead and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). PBDEs are related to PCBs, they are suspected of causing brain damage, and nobody knows how long it takes for them to break down. Mercury is found in certain kinds of solder and the dangers of it are well known. But worst of all is the lead. Every CRT has at least five pounds of it in the form of lead oxide, which is water soluble. When it starts to leach out of the tubes and boards it goes right into the water.
The reason we don’t put computer junk in the landfill isn’t just because it is bulky and takes up a lot of space, but because it is hazardous waste and it cannot be stored in any location where it might sneak into the environment. At least at the landfill there is a clay liner to control the leachate — at the back of this building, there is nothing. Piling e-waste like this outside, uncovered, is a disgrace and it should be cleaned up.
In a bad attempt at trying to sway the public from the truth the son of the supposed recycling co responded to the very same blog that posted this story trying to make excuses for their bad recycling habits. Oh and he did not identify himself as the son of the company owner, but really as a graphic designer who happened to build the companies website.
Here's the first three comments to the initial blog story
Should write a letter about this to the Stratford Beacon, including the pictures. When people who are supposed to be looking out for the environment do stuff like this, everyone has a right to be pissed off about it.
Comment by MikeC — 2008/2/29 @ 15:31
Yes I would be concerned as well. I have read that blog and some of the facts are not true.
As a concerned computer business that use there service and I inquired. Cause unless you hear it from the horses mouth it is based just as a rumor.
1. The company they state in the blog is Swanpack. Not true Stratford Ewaste is not Swanpack.
2. Stratford Ewaste deals with over 29+ municipalities and is reconized by Ontario Government as well as the Federal.
3. That mess was created by one of the municipalities that deal with them that drop off on a Friday after hours and literially just dumped the trucks.
4. That are in the middle of trying to clean it up as a lot of it is frozen to ground and if you go and chip away you take the chance of breaking the plastics. Which could cause more issues then needed
If you think the company that they city uses is any better go and have a look for yourself. They deal with Wozco Recycling out of London and there information is: 1851 Pension Lane London, ON.
I do not see how someone could condemn a company with out knowing facts?
Stratford Ewaste is extremely upfront about everything they do. Exspecially when they are apart of the Recycling Council of Ontario and deal with other processors that are also reconized by the Recycling Council of Ontario.
If you have any questions contact them directly: 519 508-8864
If you find out anything other then I what I have been informed I would really like to know. Cause I do like to take the old Computers I get in and recycle them.
Comment by DonM — 2008/3/1 @ 15:10
Didn’t you design their website? Don’t you work for them? Of all the people to respond to this post, why you?
Fine. I’ll play. I’ll assume you have no connection whatsoever with this company. Let’s go over the points you raised.
1. Thank you. I had no idea what the place was called these days. It’s not like there is a sign out front. It’s not like there is ever a sign out front.
2. I don’t care who their customers are.
3. Not my problem.
4. Not my problem.
4b. I don’t know anything about Wozco and I don’t care. This post isn’t about Wozco, it is about this Stratford eWaste place you tell me of. “If you think the company the city uses is any better…” is hardly a strong argument in their defence. What are you telling me here? These Wozco guys pollute, so it’s ok for you to pollute too? Oh, I forgot, you don’t work for them. My bad.
I know all the facts I need to know. The fact is there’s a giant pile of hazardous e-waste out back of this so-called recycling business because the people who run it were unable or unwilling to properly store it inside. From where I’m standing, it’s an unacceptable amount of pollution and it should be cleaned up.
But maybe I’m too harsh. Maybe I’m selling them short. Maybe they’ll have it all cleaned up in a couple of weeks, right?
Comment by cobolhacker — 2008/3/1 @ 20:25
Now I'm not a super green freak but we do have to take care of our planet. Removed political commentary - No politics here at GTG, and why we let other things that are so obvious go unpunished, unseen, and unheard of. If you'd like to read more about this you can read the original blog post which is fresh out of the water but so isolated that it would probably never make the front page news. There are many more comments and other things to read here below. I also believe their address and contact info is posted there by the blogger as well.
Original blog with more info, comments, and more:
After such a riot and no action he made a follow up to his blog story which can be read here:
Well worth the read...
Edited by ScHwErV, 27 March 2008 - 10:33 AM.