Discussion of e-waste recycling and reuse in North America

Montreal, 19 January 2011—The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is pleased to invite all interested persons to participate in a Workshop on E-waste Recycling and Refurbishing: Environmentally Sound Management Practices, to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, 15–16 February 2011.

Aimed at small and medium-size businesses that recycle, refurbish or reuse electronic waste in North America, the event will foster the exchange of experiences among experts, regulatory officials from the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States, and the public, to assess the environmental and economic challenges and benefits associated with the use and adoption of sustainable e-waste practices.

Experts and analysts will cover issues including managing hazardous substances, recovering precious metals, supporting green jobs and businesses, training, and improving the occupational health and safety of workers.

The sound management of e-waste is an issue of concern to NAFTA partners due to a rapidly growing number of electronic devices disposed of each year, compounded by a lack of infrastructure and comprehensive strategies to face this challenge.

Electronic devices—televisions, computers and cell phones among others—contain between 40 and 60 chemical elements, including precious and heavy metals, as well as persistent organic compounds and carcinogens that pose risks to human health and the environment if not treated appropriately.

By fostering the recycling and refurbishment of e-waste, the CEC also aims to help fight the illegal trade of these components in and from North America.

Participation at the event—open to the public—is free, but limited to the capacity of the meeting venue. To guarantee space, please complete the registration form no later than 10 February 2011.

You can also follow the workshop from anywhere in the world on the CEC website, where it will be webcast with simultaneous translation in Spanish, French and English.