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The Circuit: Tracking Down America's Electronic Waste

The rapid expansion of consumer electronics worldwide, such as cell phones and computers, has given rise to the question of what to do with electronics after they become obsolete or unusable. Due to their often toxic contents like lead and mercury, electronic waste (commonly termed e-waste) poses a significant risk for both humans and the environment. "The Circuit: Tracking Down America's Electronic Waste" offers readers an in-depth look into this issue. This investigative journalism piece was sparked by a two-year investigation by the Basel Action Network (BAN), which revealed that the largest electronics recycler in Washington state had been surreptitiously exporting hazardous e-waste to Hong Kong. Here, reporters Katie Campbell and Ken Christensen explain the significance of BAN's investigation and use it as a springboard for further explorations into the problem of e-waste, noting that "the United States produces more e-waste than any country in the world" and it "has no federal laws banning the export of e-waste." This article is part of a longer series that was produced in 2016 by Oregon Public Broadcasting, KCTS 9 in Seattle, and Earthfix, a public media partnership in the Pacific Northwest.
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Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2018-11-09
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