To quote Kermit the Frog, it's not easy being green.
Animal lovers, environmentalists and Allegheny County government found out the hard way in the curious case of EarthEcycle. That's the Tulsa-based outfit that promised to take discarded electronics gear promoted for recycling by the county and local humane societies, recycle them for free and make donations to the animal groups afterward.
Trouble is, those payments haven't come through and a Seattle environmental group called the Basel Action Network reported last month that EarthEcycle does not recycle its toxic e-waste responsibly but exports it to places like Hong Kong or South Africa. The firm is now being investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Post-Gazette staff writer Karamagi Rujumba reported the disturbing details this week. One person who thought the EarthEcycle deal was too good to be true was Alan Boring, whose Turtle Creek recycling firm charges $5 to $25 to handle cast-off electronics the right way -- by shipping them to a smelter, where they are shredded and the hazardous contents disposed of properly.
Someone in the county or the local humane societies failed to check this deal out before it was promoted in March as a way to be both good to the planet and kind to animals, all for free. Now that the full story is emerging, there's no reason to feel blue over green -- people just need to realize that sometimes doing the right thing, like recycling, comes with a cost.