intercepts electronic waste shipment
Metro Metals Corp. and Avista Recycling, Inc.
have been ordered to properly dispose of computer waste they
attempted to illegally export from Minnesota to Vietnam, according
to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA
is simultaneously seeking a $31,600 penalty against the companies
for violating federal hazardous waste laws.
Metro Metals Corp., a Toronto, Canada, based company, and Avista
Recycling, Inc., a recycling company operating in Hopkins, Minnesota,
arranged for the export of 913 discarded computer monitors to
Vietnam on December 6, 2010. United States Customs and Border
Protection agents intercepted the shipment, which had been incorrectly
identified in shipping paperwork as “scrap plastic,” at the Port
of Seattle for inspection before it could leave the United States.
EPA alleges that the companies violated several federal hazardous
waste management requirements designed to ensure the proper management
and transport of such wastes. First, the companies failed to
evaluate their waste and identify it as hazardous. They also
failed to manifest the waste or comply with other pre-transit
requirements for such shipments. The companies also failed to
notify EPA of their intent to export the waste to Vietnam and,
consequently, attempted to bypass the process required for Vietnam
to consent to receive hazardous wastes from the United States
before it can leave the country.