This week Greenpeace made a major splash in the European media with a tracking device hidden in a "junk" or "unrepairable" TV taken to a recycler in England.
The coverage in UK's The Independent is the most thorough, with 4 full articles.
BBC summarized the story accurately.
In both The Independent and the BBC coverage, it is (probably most accurately) stated that 1/3 of the exports to Lagos are not working and not worth repairing. This concedes WR3A's point, that 2/3 of the goods are legitimate commodities, and the rest are TAR (Toxics Along for the Ride). This is why WR3A's approach is to reform the export practice, and to provide cleaner loads to Africa from more reputable recyclers.
We note with concern that the Greenpeace press release, printed on MarketWatch, returns to the "up to 80% of E-Waste from Europe failing to be disposed of safely". Nothing in the investigations above suggests that 80% of exports from Europe are junk.
The Greenpeace blurb goes on to implicate anything exported for further repair:
Re-use can include repair, refurbishment or upgrading, but not major reassembly" (B1110)
WR3A is a "Fair Trade" organization which seeks to match ethical USA recyclers with the legitimate (and overwhelming) demand for reuseable and repairable computers and televisions which Americans throw away. Capturing the reuse value in an ethical and professional manner reduces the cost of e-scrap recycling, meets the solid waste hierarchy, and promotes the standard of living and education in developing countries.