Federal Prosecutors Level Conspiracy Charges Against Total Reclaim for Illegal E-Waste Exports
Federal prosecutors have filed conspiracy charges against Seattle-based electronics recycler, Total Reclaim, Inc., for deceiving customers by illegally exporting hazardous e-waste to Hong Kong.
According to state law, electronics recyclers are required to ensure that all discarded e-waste collected by them are recycled properly either by them or by other certified recyclers. By shipping the e-waste to outside country, the company has violated the state laws. Also, the action is considered as a blatant violation of public trust, as Total Reclaim and its owners had collected LCD monitors by convincing them that they are being recycled domestically. The document filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle alleged that the exported electronics were found dismantled in primitive ways, causing serious environmental dangers.
Total Reclaim’s illegal e-waste exports were revealed by BAN investigations carried out in 2016, which involved placing GPS tracking devices. The company had initially denied the allegations but later admitted to fraud practices. The Washington Department of Ecology had fined the company over $510K in 2016 and 2017. In addition, Oregon regulators had fined more than $160K last year.
The company owners Craig Lorch and Jeff Zirkle are scheduled to appear in court on Friday, media reports said.