ERI CEO Calls Mishandled E-Waste a Threat

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Citing a current article on the problems improperly recycled e-waste can cause for military institutions, John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the nation’s leading recycler of electronic waste, has issued a public statement describing the looming threat that mismanaged e-waste has on our national security.

The article, “We Threw Military Electronics in the Trash – China Sold them Back to Us: How E-waste Compromises American War Tech,” by Andrew Dobbs, which Shegerian calls “an important article,” appears in the War is Boring column of and is available online. It details the evolution of the mounting threat of cybertheft caused by storing private data and information on electronic devices.

The article explains that exporting e-waste to nations such as China not only poses environmental and health threats, it also drives a thriving industry in counterfeit electronics components, which are often sold right back to Americans – and that many of these components contain digital data stored by the original users. Also, the counterfeit devices made from the original devices can often make their way to poorly managed factories, where they are sanded or put through an acid wash to remove part numbers and then re-coated in a process known as ‘blacktopping’ to hide identifying product information.

“This article is excellent and important reading,” said Shegerian, “because it outlines, using real world examples, the serious problem of our unwanted electronics making their way overseas. To think that you or I, or our businesses, or our government and military, could be purchasing electronic equipment containing counterfeit elements derived from pirated e-waste is pretty frightening.”

“With current technological innovations, there is very fast turnover when it comes to computers, laptops and other electronic devices,” Shegerian added. “Properly recycling all old and unwanted items – military or otherwise, here in the United States, is crucially important for so many reasons. Our digital security, our environment and the reliability of the new devices we purchase – all rest in the balance of us recycling the right way.”

For more information on general recycling needs, visit, ,  or

About Electronic Recyclers International (ERI)

Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the world’s largest privately held recycler of electronic waste, is e-Stewards and R2 certified to de-manufacture and recycle every type of electronic waste in an environmentally friendly manner. ERI processes more than 275 million pounds of electronic waste annually at eight locations serving every zip code in the United States. For more information about e-waste recycling and ERI, call 1-800-ERI-DIRECT or visit       


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