|Not much value added (wikipedia anti-art)|
I realized that the recycling I was dedicated to was preserving value once added to rocks by mining and smelting them, value added to trees by cutting and cutting the bark off and bleaching them to fiber. I realized that the Africans I met who were fixing stuff discarded by others were, with their intellects, capturing added value. I realized my grandfather in the Ozarks was preserving otherwise depreciating added value by fixing expensive stuff like car engines rather than discarding them. I realized the "Hillbilly Highway" between poor places and rich cities was a two-way street, with value of labor flowing out and value of devices flowing in.
The dirtiest recycling is cleaner than the cleanest forestry/mining/extraction.
The dirtiest repair is cleaner than the cleanest recycling.
Geographical relocation of devices has to do with the value of the "value added". In America, I could save $100 by keeping my smart phone or my CRT display just a year longer. But at a certain point, $100 isn't worth the deferred satisfaction. That economy is a privilege, which may be earned or may be inherited.
Someone in a poor country may not have that privilege.
The $100 I forgo is 5% of total annual household income for 3 billion people.
Here is what a printer looks like going through a shredder.
Now, the shredding pretty much ruins the plastic. When the prices of metal is high, that's more than worth the cost of manual disassembly. When the price of metals falls (as is the case the past 18 months), the value of the plastics becomes relatively important, and the price of labor to hand dismantle the devices becomes more salient.
Liability takes away from added value. So NGOs are funded by industries that provide less Value Added in order to impugn reuse or recycling industries which have an advantage in adding value. Effectively, the value of your "stuff" depreciates faster when it crosses a national border.