Lessons From e-waste

by Dick Heinen on March 14, 2011

I was watching CBC recently and Patrick Brown was doing an update on a previous story on recycling e-waste, that is, computers and other electronic gadgets. He traced e-waste shipments to China and learned that the electronic garbage was being dismantled in the most unhealthy way, and children were drinking chemical-laden water as a result.

Brown noted, “If dumping e-waste were an Olympic sport, Canada would win a silver medal. The United States gets the gold.” There are many similar examples where it’s clear we must be more responsible citizens of the planet.

In Ottawa, CLAC members helped build a huge recycling facility where every day tonnes of organic waste are turned into nutrient-rich humus to be turned back to farm fields. In Edmonton, where I live, the city is building a plant to convert waste to fuel for its vehicles.

I don’t know what your communities are doing, but I urge you to push for responsible development of the environment. The challenge for all of us is to live responsibly with integrity and respect for others.

Doing so is about more than being nice and getting along. It’s about being concerned for each other’s wellbeing. It’s about being concerned with the ability of the world to sustain our sometimes irresponsible lifestyles. It’s not talking about recycling e-waste and then shipping it to China, just because we can.

Respect and integrity are an integral part of CLAC’s commitment to you. I trust that they are not something you only read or hear about but something you experience in all your dealings with CLAC.

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