NWRA Expresses Disbelief Over CPSC’s FOIA Response to Mobile Phone Request

NWRA Expresses Disbelief Over CPSC’s FOIA Response to Mobile Phone Request

CPSC Fails To Produce Documents Covered by Request

Arlington, VA – The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) expresses its disbelief and disappointment with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) upon receipt of documents from CPSC requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as relates to mobile phones. Mobile phones are an addictive consumer product that is a primary source of distraction that directly results in injuries to and deaths of many Americans, including roadside waste and recycling workers.

NWRA found CPSC’s response to be incomplete based upon the association’s request and its specific knowledge of what is in the possession of CPSC. For example, emails previously provided to NWRA by a safety advocate between that individual and CPSC, which fall within the date range requested and are directly on point to the association’s request down to specific keywords, were not included.

CPSC provided NWRA newspaper articles with information redacted from them as well as NWRA’s own interactions with CPSC with information redacted. One of these items, NWRA’s press release about CPSC initially refusing to meet with NWRA, was fully redacted. Such behavior indicates that CPSC does not take the FOIA process seriously and would rather engage in gamesmanship instead of protecting Americans from a dangerous and deadly consumer product.

There was almost no information contained in the response material that the association could not have garnered itself through a simple internet search that would not have included the redactions. For this, CPSC sent NWRA a bill for $160.25 to conduct the search.

When NWRA requested a meeting to discuss the discrepancies between what CPSC had provided and what is known to be in its possession, CPSC doubled down and told the association to file an appeal if it had additional concerns.

CPSC has a history of noncompliance with the FOIA. In a September 30, 2015, Inspector General (IG) report on an audit of CPSC’s Freedom of Information Act Program, IG found that CPSC’s “program did not comply with certain policies and procedures mandated by the FOIA.”

NWRA’s government affairs team will be filing an appeal with CPSC and considering additional options to compel compliance.


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.

Brandon Wright
National Waste and Recycling Association