TribLIVE

| Business

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Levin orders truck to leave Monroeville warehouse lot without cargo

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Thomas Olson
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009
 

Levin Furniture ordered a tractor trailer off its Monroeville warehouse parking lot on Friday without a cargo of electronic waste that a controversial company had intended to ship away and recycle, said an executive for the retailer.

Levin has begun coordinating with a Seattle-based environmental group to properly dispose of the 2 million pounds of discarded electronic equipment that has clogged the retailer's facility on Route 22 for more than three months.

The environmental watchdog group Basel Action Network, or BAN, interceded Thursday when it learned that recycling company EarthEcycle of Tulsa, Okla., apparently arranged for a small shipment of used computer monitors to Vietnam about two weeks ago, according to documents obtained by the Tribune-Review.

"(BAN) wanted us to find other resources to make sure the (e-waste) is properly recycled — which has been our goal all along," said Ward Dingmann, Levin's vice president of operations.

A tractor trailer parked at the warehouse along Route 22 had been ready to pick up and cart off nearly 50 pallets of discarded televisions and monitors yesterday. They belong to EarthEcycle, which Levin told three months ago to remove from its warehouse. The recycler amassed it from collection drives by local charities to which Levin had donated use of the warehouse.

"But we told them not to load it, in light of everything," said Dingmann. "They are leaving empty."

Hazardous materials — such as lead in cathode-ray tubes and mercury in computer equipment — can cause birth defects and brain damage in children and others when improperly extracted. Investigations by BAN and CBS' "60 Minutes" showed U.S. companies have shipped e-waste to parts of Asia to extract these metals for money.

BAN Executive Director Jim Puckett said he recommended to Levin yesterday several other recycling firms that the group has audited, "which (Levin) could use who are not going to export."

EarthEcycle was cited by the Environment Protection Agency in June for shipping e-waste from Pittsburgh to Hong Kong without notifying the EPA, as required by law. The case is pending.

EarthEcycle President Jeffrey Nixon could not be reached.

"It's technically Nixon's property," said Dingmann. "But if taking ownership is the only way to properly handle this, that's what we will talk to Nixon about."

Dingmann had the scores of pallets stowed back inside the warehouse yesterday, to avoid any possible citation from Monroeville for a code violation.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
  2. Memories of Steelers fan from Beaver Falls go beyond simple recall
  3. Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
  4. Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
  5. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  6. Derry man gets 19-year prison sentence for recording sex assaults of girl
  7. Music on way to Westmoreland’s Twin Lakes Park
  8. Traded after Stanley Cup, Saad not alone in being dealt after title
  9. Newsmaker: Stephanie McMahon
  10. Greensburg YMCA seeks soccer sites for fall
  11. Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment