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Wastereport Interpol

Wastereport Interpol

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Published by RobinIngenthron
Interpol (European Police Agency) Report, accepting that 80%-90% of exports to poor countries can be defined as "waste", then examines how the organization to pay for this waste crime means that Africans who buy the used electronics are, therefore, "organized crime".
Interpol (European Police Agency) Report, accepting that 80%-90% of exports to poor countries can be defined as "waste", then examines how the organization to pay for this waste crime means that Africans who buy the used electronics are, therefore, "organized crime".

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Published by: RobinIngenthron on Apr 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Figure 1 (below) provides a summary of the e-waste disposal system in the UK. It is
based on the interviews, discussions and desk research that together formed the
Bureau Veritas contribution to Phase II of this project. Areas highlighted in red
indicate those points in the system that present a particular opportunity for organized


States most often fund recycling programmes using manufacturer/producer paid systems. One state
uses a consumer-paid system. Under the ‘producer pays’ model, manufacturers are required to
finance a collection and recycling programme for their returned e-waste and a share of orphan waste.
The costs of recycling orphan waste, waste that cannot be tied to a specific manufacturer, is usually
split among the manufacturers. Under the ‘consumer pays’ model, consumers generally pay an
advanced recycling fee when designated electronics are purchased. The proceeds fund the e-waste
collection and recycling infrastructure (Luther, 2007).


California requires recyclers to notify the state Department of Toxic Substances Control before
covered electronic wastes are exported to foreign countries. Beginning in 2009, covered electronic
devices collected in any Connecticut state program cannot be exported for disposal in any manner that
poses a significant risk (Luther, 2007).

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criminality to intervene in the process. These opportunities are summarised below,
with a focus on export rather than disposal within the UK.

Figure 1 Conceptual model of e-waste disposal

E Waste Producer

Brokers or

Waste Removal

e.g. directly sold,
Ebay etc.

Local Authority
Disposal - Civic


UK Landfill, Incineration or
Other Processing


Brokers or

Abandoned at Port

Also ‘waste tourists’

Fly Tipping

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The six broad categories of illegal e-waste disposal in the UK context are as follows:

xDirect illegal disposal e.g. fly tipping

xUse of unlicensed waste management sites

The deliberate disposal of e-waste at UK waste management sites which are not
licensed to accept it.

xUse of unlicensed carriers, brokers or waste tourists

The use of, or sale of equipment to, unregulated recipients such as contractors,
brokers or waste tourists. Waste tourists are individuals or groups who temporarily
travel to the UK from Asia and West Africa to buy up e-waste for export and/or
sale, and are then involved in its illegal disposal.

xShipping infringements

These include, for example, the provision of false shipment details to Her
Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the UK customs authority. The
experience in Holland is that e-waste is shipped under various false headings
(e.g. personal effects, used goods), as well as being mixed in with End of Life
Vehicles (ELVs)18

. The UK’s Environment Agency has observed that, from an
enforcement perspective, it is difficult for regulators to prove that a consignment
labelled for a recovery market is actually waste – unless products are manually
tested for functionality. The Environment Agency’s experience from the TFS Ports
study has demonstrated that waste is often exported to a broker’s business
address, or to a fictitious address, and thus not to a reputable contractor or
disposal site. This breaks the continuity of the waste stream, and presents
potential for organized criminality and illegal practices.

xMis-description of waste

Illegal activities associated with the mis-description of waste span all types of
illegal waste export. The scale and nature of this illegal and unregulated recycling
or other disposal activities need to be better understood.

xUnregulated recycling and other disposal activities

Activities such as burning, unregulated dismantling or smelting to extract metals,
fly tipping etc. Experience from the UK Environment Agency and the Dutch
Inspectorate of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment indicates that the
majority of E waste exported is disposed of in such a way once the working
equipment has been salvaged (a recent BBC news report from Nigeria estimated
around 75 per cent of IT exports destined for the second hand market to be


VROM Inspectorate officer; personal communication.



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