GPS Trackers Reveal Australian e-Waste Exported to Developing Countries

 Bags of imported e-waste, and barrels of chemicals used to crudely process it found at hidden Thai facility located by BAN's GPS tracked device delivered to Officeworks store in Brisbane. Copyright Basel Action Network, July 2018.

Bags of imported e-waste, and barrels of chemicals used to crudely process it found at hidden Thai facility located by BAN's GPS tracked device delivered to Officeworks store in Brisbane. Copyright Basel Action Network, July 2018.

August 8/9th, 2018. Seattle, WA. The global waste watchdog group Basel Action Network (BAN) released its findings today of a year-long United Nations funded study that used GPS trackers hidden inside of 35 old computers, printers, and monitors. They found that two of the devices left at the consumer take-back desk at Officeworks were exported to developing countries in Asia in likely contravention of international law.

The BAN study entitled "Illegal Export of e-Waste from Australia: a story as told by GPS trackers" described how BAN, mimicking the actions of Australian consumers, delivered the used computing equipment to official government-sanctioned consumer drop-off locations in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney and then monitored the signals sent by the devices over the course of a year.