Poison Apples 4: BAN Report on Canadian Export - 9% Export Despite Rigged Sampling!

Nine Percent!?!?
Nine Percent is a nine-member Chinese boy group formed by the survival show Idol Producer by iQiyi in 2018.

Nine percent is also the result of BAN's E-Stewards new report  on a rigged process to show illegal ewaste export is still a thing to pay them money about.

Rigged as in 14% of all the devices BAN tracked were sent to one company (which BAN has engaged in a lawsuit against). And BAN didn't track things they knew would not likely be exported.

Basel Action Network, the owner of the "E-Stewards" authority program, is still using GPS trackers to try to ramp up business.  In a new report distributed by email, BAN has given a subject headline that "Canada still Exporting e-Waste to Developing Countries"... Using a clever but well trod journalism trick, "still" is meant to imply something significant is contained in the report.

Let's boil the information down from page 1.

1) Zero CRT televisions tracked, despite being 60% of Canada's e-waste stream.  That's a major sampling bias if your claim is about "Canadian e-Waste".

2) The devices "chosen" for export tracking - LCD monitors, CRT desktop monitors, and printers - were identified in BAN's 2016 report as the most likely items purchased by export markets.

3) BAN "Poisons the Apples" again, claiming to have secretly "rendered the devices economically unrepairable".  Like the 2016 report, the sabotage is not visible, it's hidden (and not competently done - in 2016 several devices were found repaired and in use anyway). Why do that, other than defeat screening and quality control procedures by the accused Canadian exporter?

4) BAN again conflates the Basel Convention - which explicitly allows reuse and repair and even recycling exports to developing countries - with their proposed AMENDMENT, which they admit has not been passed or ratified by either the Convention or Canada. So their claims of "illegal" activity by Canadians are clearly false and defamatory.

Despite all this spin, the result of the GPS study is   9 %

And if CRT TVs had been tracked, it would have been less than 3 percent!!!  This report shows an NGO flailing its fingers on the keyboard!!!



Poison Apples 3: Uptick in Lithium Battery Fires & GPS Ewaste Tracking Devices

Our company sends about 30% of the used electronics we receive to "big shred"... companies that invested in labor-saving mechanical shredders with eddy-current-separators, magnets, optic sorters, etc., to turn things like printers (notoriously low reuse value because the dollars are in the ink cartridges, not the device) into streams of raw material.

Those shredding companies are our friends.

We offer to take back stuff they can't shred responsibly - like display devices.  Ideally, we'd be taking back, ton-for-ton, the 30% stuff that should be hand-managed, like CRTs and LCDs, Plasmas, OLEDs, etc, for every ton of shreddable e-waste we send.

Our friends at the shredders have a problem. One friend, ECS of California, went out of business this year. I've known the owner, Jim Taggart, since my Massachusetts DEP days in the 1990s. He was not the first "big shred" investor to get sucked  under.

This video doesn't show you any specifics about why, but it does show a big, big problem for Big Shred.  It features our old pal Scott Pelly of CBS 60 Minutes (the guy who impugned our geek pals based on Jim Puckett ewaste statistic "fakenews").



Poison Apples 2: Profiting from Ewaste Cures

Things that seemed very important to write about 6 years ago (about things like desktop CRT monitor remanufacturing in Asia, and California SB20) now seem less vital.  But while public discussion of the topics in this blog has quieted, and some wins (like Mr. "Fishing as a Boy" Anane being actively edited out of certain documentaries) institutionalized, individual cases of racial profiling of the emerging market's tech sector continue. I receive a lot of thank yous "under the table".

What I have learned over the 11 years of writing this blog is that being passionate about environmentalism is like being passionate about cures for human sickness and disease. It is a hot topic until the disease is cured, but that different populations struggle with different levels of risk.

And the importance of being green is not passeĆ©.  The theme is to improve environmental health the way we improved human health. Sometimes, that means standing up to the liar wearing the doctor's white coat, promising to end suffering by selling a cure they've barely tested....


E-Waste Policy looks a great deal, through the lens of history, like 1960s infant formula sales.  My mom recently recalled that when she was breastfeeding me at the hospital in Harrison Arkansas in 1962, a nurse in the room asked her, "What are you trying to prove?"  Mom was only 19... but thank god she could see past the nurse's labcoat.

Poison Apples Blog: 18 Questions for Research on GPS Tracking of E-Waste

Poison Apples Blog #1 - Labor Day Weekend 2018

It's September, the beginning of a new Academic Year.  Environmental studies and public policy and geography and business majors are arriving on campus, ready to launch hundreds of term papers, thesis, class essays, etc. on lots of topics.

Usually, there are dozens of students researching the topics of the Basel Convention, EPA policy, exports, and externalization of pollution.  And there are quite a few papers that will be written on racial profiling, and environmental justice.

So far, I haven't seen many papers on the thesis that Geeks of Color, the Tech Sector in emerging markets, is being improperly profiled as "primitive", "informal", and "illegal". But if I were to write such a paper, for an A+, I might begin with another paper that had been published that reached a conclusion in its title...

"How does e-waste travel across the world after disposal?" was a hot publication in 2016, and was covered on PBS national evening news broadcast before many of us had a chance to peer-review it. The title of the report asks a question... and has a cover photo at top which clearly shows the plastic casings of CRT televisions.  This raised a question to me... why was there not even a single CRT television tracked among the sample of 205 devices, which MIT's partner claims are a representative sample of "ewaste".

The 30% or so of "stuff" in e-waste collections that does indeed "travel across the world" is the only stuff they tracked. But the paper claims to answers the question "How" without asking the question, "Why"?  And the answer to why would come from the buyers, the black, brown, Asian, African, Latino and Islanders who are never offered a chance to show what they CAN do with your "elective upgraded" so-called "waste"...

Because the NGO knows this, they had to take an extra step. No one is selling spoiled apples in the marketplace, if they tracked the spoiled ones, it would show little export. But if they tracked the statistically good ones, they'd likely find their GPS in a reuse shop (in fact, they did despite efforts to sabotage).

The method, I call "poisoning the Apples"... And its time some people publish some term papers on the obvious errors in scientific method that should have been vetted before PBS was sent the paper.