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The Marblehead Chamber of Commerce (MCOC) became the first organization in New England to sign the Electronic Waste Code Of Ethics, a global set of standards developed by environmental educator Christopher Swain.

The Electronic Waste (e-waste) Code Of Ethics includes a mandate to educate youth about the global problem of Electronic Waste as well as a pledge to prevent e-waste from being dumped or deposited into solid waste landfills or incinerators.  It also requires that electronics not be dumped in developing countries, or processed by child or prison labor.

MCOC Executive Director, Ann Marie, signed the Code of Ethics during a ceremony at the Chamber Offices. Casey said, “While we are a local organization, we also recognize that protecting and restoring the ocean is a global challenge. By signing this Code of Ethics, we hope to inspire New England and the world to join us in our commitment to capture toxic chemicals and heavy metals before they pollute our oceans.”

Over the last several years, in partnership with organizations from Vermont to Pennsylvania, Christopher Swain has staged Ethical Electronics Recycling Events that have diverted nearly 100,000 pounds of electronic waste from landfills, incinerators, and dumps in the developing world. After the signing ceremony, Swain said, “I am not surprised that the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce is the first organization in New England to sign the Electronic Waste Code of Ethics.  Marblehead has always been a leader when it comes to the ocean.”

On Saturday and Sunday, February 12 and 13, the Marblehead Chamber will put its new commitment into action.  From 11am – 2pm, both days–rain or snow or shine–the Chamber plans to collect thousands of pounds of used electronics from local residents and business owners in the parking lot outside their offices at 62 Pleasant Street (Masonic Lodge building). And, of course, all materials collected will be processed in accordance with the Electronic Waste Code of Ethics: the highest and most comprehensive set of electronics lifecycle standards in the world.

Materials that will be accepted include: old or used televisions, computers, monitors, phones, keyboards, drives, cables, cords, peripherals, copiers, printers, cartridges, fax machines, scanners, laptops, stereo equipment, speakers, cd & dvd players, telephones, remote controls, VCRs, projectors, digital cameras, PDAs, speakers, radios, answering machines, camcorders, electric typewriters, video game systems, pagers, microwaves, toasters, air conditioners, small “dorm-room” style refrigerators, ink cartridges, USB media, and magnetic media like Zip disks, audio tapes, and floppy diskettes.

Incoming electronics will be weighed, and attendees will be charged an Ethical Recycling Fee of $1 per pound. Those recycling their materials at the event will also be treated to free coffee and donuts.

In conjunction with this Ethical Electronics Recycling Event, the Chamber is also promoting its “Keep It Local – Shop Marblehead” initiative. Thanks to event sponsor, Marblehead Bank, recyclers will be offered a chance to win up to $500 worth of “Keep It Local – Shop Marblehead” Gift Checks, which can be redeemed at many participating local businesses. Says Casey, “While you’re here to recycle this weekend, we are also encouraging folks to go inside the Mason’s Building on Sunday, the 13th, to start shopping at the Indoor Sidewalk Sale!”