Total Reclaim Fined Over $500K for Illegal Toxic E-Waste Exports
Total Reclaim, Inc. (TRI) has announced a $553,750 settlement with Oregon Attorney General and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). $470,000 of the settlement amount will be distributed to the Oregon DEQ in support of their recycling efforts. The remainder will cover the cover the costs of DOJ investigation and legal fees.
The above settlement is in resolution of the DEQ’s penalty action against TRI for illegal shipment of hazardous electronic waste in violation of state laws. Incidentally, TRI was a major participant of Oregon’s E-Cycles program-a statewide program that offers safe and sustainable recycling of used electronics.
The investigation carried out by state authorities had revealed false claims by TRI that it complied with the Oregon E-Cycles requirement. It concealed its tie-up with Seattle-based broker to ship potentially toxic electronic waste to unregulated facilities in Hong Kong. TRI had been billing the Oregon program for nearly seven years. Total Reclaim’s illegal e-waste exports were revealed by BAN investigations carried out in 2016, using hidden GPS tracking devices. The company had initially denied the allegations but later admitted to fraud practices.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum noted that the settlement is a reminder to all recycling businesses to ensure that their operations are in compliance with state laws. Businesses that fail to live up to the public’s trust will be made fully accountable, he said.