Diversified Recycling has been slammed by the Basel Action Network for allegedly sending glass to a downstream partner that dumped the material at a local landfill. The company is also accused of selling broken devices online.
Following a month-long investigation of Diversified’s Norcross, Georgia facility, the Basel Action Network (BAN) announced today Diversified has been suspended for two years from applying to the e-Stewards certification standard due to the alleged activities. BAN is the creator of the e-Stewards standard.
Diversified’s Orlando, Florida processing facility was on the verge of becoming certified to the e-Stewards standard when an inaccurate financial report and online electronics sales activity prompted BAN and e-Stewards officials to look into the company’s downstream activities in Georgia, which was also aiming to be certified.
According to BAN, the investigation found Diversified had sent CRT glass to Sarah’s Trading, which went on to crush and landfill the glass at a nearby construction and demolition debris landfill not authorized to take the leaded glass.
It is unknown how much glass was sent from Diversified to Sarah’s, and it’s also unclear exactly how long that downstream arrangement was in place.
“It could be massive amounts that ended up in that landfill,” Jim Puckett, executive director of BAN, told E-Scrap News. “It seemed very willful. If they had come to us and said, ‘We just realized one of our downstreams is really problematic,’ that would have been extremely different.”
The BAN report also alleges Diversified had been selling used electronics online without proper assurances that they were tested and in working order. In one particular case, Diversified is accused of sending a large quantity of non-working devices to Hong Kong after stating those electronics were functional.
Diversified CEO Bruce Mannseur responded to the announcement in a statement sent to E-Scrap News. He defended the company’s actions and argued it was misled by Sarah’s Trading.
“Diversified Recycling hereby officially denies all knowledge of the allegations as set forth in the Basel Action Network’s recent publication,” the statement reads. “Diversified Recycling was given assurances by Sarah’s Trading that they in fact would adhere to the applicable laws, rules and regulations pertaining to the proper handling and disposal of the cathode ray tube glass. Diversified Recycling takes its responsibilities as an electronics recycler very seriously and has always maintained a strong commitment and a strict adherence to all local, state and federal environmental laws.”
Sarah’s Trading did not respond to numerous requests for comment. It is not known if the firm is still in operation, though its website is still active.
The BAN report indicates Sarah’s moved the CRT glass to construction and demolition debris site Safeguard Landfill Management in Fairburn, Georgia. Representatives from Safeguard did not respond to a request for comment.
The Atlanta office of EPA Region 4 is now handling the case but would not comment on its status.
Diversified’s Orlando facility had been certified to the R2:2008 standard until Dec. 31 but has yet to become re-certified under the updated R2:2013 standard. The company’s Norcross site has never been certified to either R2, a point the certification’s administrator, SERI, pointed out in a press release issued in response to BAN’s report.