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The Circuit

Tracking down America's electronic waste

You buy a new phone or computer and you take your old one to a local recycler. It’s the green thing to do, right? It turns out some of those devices may not be getting recycled at all.

“It's still a dirty little secret of the electronics recycling industry,“ says Jim Puckett, who has made it his life’s mission to stop first-world countries from dumping hazardous electronic waste onto developing nations. He’s the head of a Seattle-based watchdog group that’s been investigating the electronic waste trade for nearly 20 years.

Electronics are the fastest growing waste stream in the world. And the United States is the planet’s biggest source of e-waste, generating almost 8 million tons a year. We followed Puckett on a journey to track down what actually happens to America's electronic waste.



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