July 15, 2009

EPA says recycling co. dumped waste

U.S. environmental officials say EarthEcycle, an electronics recycling company, dumped waste in South Africa.

The company, based in Tulsa, Okla., was previously charged with dumping electronic waste in Hong Kong. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed an amended complaint earlier this month, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The company was founded by Jeff Nixon, a former Allegheny County Health Department worker. EarthEcycle had contracts with six Western Pennsylvania non-profit groups to provide free recycling of their computers and other electronic equipment.

Federal officials say EarthEcycle shipped two 40-foot containers of computer monitors to South Africa in May. South African officials found the monitors were not packed properly and contained waste banned from import into the country.

The company faces fines of $37,500 a day if the EPA complaint stands and it fails to retrieve the waste from South Africa.