BAN MIT MoniTour Teardown: Inside the Ewaste Export Controversy

The MIT MoniTour @KCTS-9 Basel Action Network "Expose on Exporting" #trackingewaste is still being reviewed by review researchers, recycling experts, and reporters.  Memorial University has helped plot final landing points for devices.  There are still a large number of items in places that BAN can't quite explain.  [There are data points missing, which we located on Monitour but are not in the table per MUN]

- There are good places overseas (BAN now says "never said there weren't")
- People who never exported are highlighted for political reasons (BAN says it's justified)
- BAN's own math suggests 11% total exports (good or bad end points)
- BAN's conclusion (use E-Stewards) belies BAN's financial interest

As one of the people who never exported the tracked device, but whose clients were assaulted by BAN's innuendo I've got a particular axe to grind.  But the main point is that I have consistently made the same argument before BAN attacked me personally.  Jim Puckett has told a reporter directly what I inferred from the article - that I came up with EcoPark and Li Tong Group to cover up my shipment to Mr. Lai's Printer Farm.  It's in print, and it's provably false, and I need another apology.

BAN made a very legitimate point via their GPS tracking study - that despite normal diligence, we should not assume for sure material exported to Asia won't go "sideways" to a scrap metal vendor (any more than we can assume that via E-Stewards).  But Jim Puckett tries to push the point too far, and in so doing damages the names and reputations of state of the art repair geeks overseas, Boston area MIT hippy coops, Vermont ADA employees, and legitimate discussion of environmental policy.

Perhaps Jim yielded to his frustration and inability to control the story in a tidy direction, and now has injured people that shouldn't be injured.  He needlessly involved innocent MIT students, Carlo Ratti, KCTS, and The Body Shop Foundation in a pissing match over environmental justice.  Jim simply needs to say "I'm sorry".   Again.

Watchdog Issues Apology For Personal Attacks in E-Waste Article

Jim documenting CRT glass was not exported as he claimed (AZ)

Short Post: Smelters and Financial Assurance.

Want to try something new.  Brief brilliant posts. Easy to read.

I've got totally bogged down by and MIT. I have pages and pages of unposted blogs defending me and my clients.  

Totally quick brilliant blog post starts now.
Primary copper, zinc and lead smelters can use CRT cullet instead of feldspar, galena, angelsite.
See my article on why they don't (Time out of Mined)
If the smelters are making a rational decision not to use the CRT cullet as fluxing agent (because of the multimillion, even billion dollar fines history with EPA over Superfund sites), then they need smaller secondary smelters, like NuLife, to manage it.
NuLife and other micro-smelters, which turn CRT glass into lead feedstock, need affordable closure plans.
So the primary smelters - Doe Run, Teck Cominco, Glencore, Southern Copper, Penoles, etc. - which individually could accept 200 tons per day of CRT glass but don't want to - should offer to take NuLife material under a closure plan.  A one time clean out situation, they take 60 days of recycled cullet.
EPA would never bother them, they'd be bailing EPA out of an undesirable closure situation.
The smelters would be paid for the "insurance" value.  They get say $20,000 per year just to SAY they WOULD take it if the closure was invoked.

The NuLife micro-smelter can make a significant contribution to USA's e-waste problem.  This is totally a smidge compared to the mining and primary smelting business, but EPA and environmentalists are obsessed with it.
To find out why, you have to read some of the 1,867 older longer blogs.  It's guilt, liability, psychology stuff.

BAN can free my genius to create more solutions if they stop being absolute pricks to people like Joe Benson, Li Tong Group, Net Peripheral, and my clients in Boston.  

DEBUT - Fair Trade Recycling Offset - Recycled Content Jewelry from Computer Scrap

[10/6/2016]  Just a little celebration.  We just made our first "Fair Trade Recycling Offset" transaction.

We sold about $10,000 worth of computers to Chendiba Enterprises, who have a Vermont based tech testing all the displays and PCs at our plant before he buys them for export.  He's our "Joe Benson".

Normally, we take a deposit of 80% when the computers leave Vermont ($8,000 say), and wait for the computers to be received and reconciled in Ghana.  Then the next containerload is $10,000 - $2000 for the reconciled shipment #1, and another 80% / $8k deposit for shipment #1.

This week, we told our Ghana buyer to take $100 out of the $2,000 reconciliation and give it to the father of one of the Chendiba Techs (who I met and filmed in 2015).  He is a retired high school teacher who kept his own father's tradition of small scale metal smelting.  He made our Fair Trade Recycling bracelets in 2015.

PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN? Brownwashing Hong Kong Moon Shot, NGO #Ewaste Mistake of Decade

As multiple reporters recited from the press releases from MIT Senseable City and Basel Action Network this year, we heard descriptions of Hong Kong's New Territories, Yuen Long, and Tin Shui Wai in particular, which were familiar to people who went to high school 2-3 decades ago.
"Rice Paddy".  "Primitive".  "Child Labor."
But they missed the largest, most modern E-Waste processing facility ever seen on earth.  This is an example of "brownwashing", the equal and opposite of "greenwashing".

WEEETRF stands for "Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Treatment and Recycling Facility"

MIT's central claim is that the GPS Tracking Devices revealed "Previously Unknown" things about the used electronics trade.   And they found "mistakes made" by R2 and E-Steward certified companies.

But the biggest "previously unknown" is still unreported.

Two years ago, the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department (EPA) launched a "moon shot."  And Basel Action Network didn't just miss it.  THEY HID IT.  #brownwashing

But they had to say something about it... something in small print.  Actually this just describes the $45M investment at LTG, they didn't actually mention the $550M WEEETRF next door.

How is this NOT THE PBS HEADLINE?  NGO went to huge lengths to hide the largest e-waste recycling facility on the planet, led everyone to a puny junkyard as "representative of hundreds of similar dumps" (really?) in Hong Kong ... a statement they have to make because there's no significant truck traffic, nothing approximating the volumes BAN says are going there (the Agbogbloshie problem).  But they track stuff to the WEEETRF and to end users of repaired devices in Tin Shui Wai, and when I call them out... they attack ME?

Previously Unknown, or Continuously Unknown?