Thanks to Jerry, Cara, Jef, Henry, Dylan and others (thanks Karen the Q-card carrier) for a really excellent electronics scrap conference from Resource Recycling. WR3A has had a terrific annual meeting at the annual EScrap Show in Orlando, at a meeting room donated by Resource Recycling. I composed this from the audience seats at the EScrap Conferences plenary session on Global markets. Respresentatives from India, South Africa, and China are presenting...
They are fantastic, really more sophisticated presentations. They still think they are heading for a ban on e-waste imports as a solution to pollution and poverty, a conclusion I disagree with, but they are much more sophisticated in their study and that should lead to a less political and more just resolution. A lot of people think the solution to "e-waste" is to stop "e-scrap" and repair, reuse, and used goods. The Chinese presenter is showing how many scrap computers and TVs China itself generates internally... that, along with the stunning shows of "white marble floor" electronics recycling factories opening in China, mean it is just a matter of time that USA-only electronics recycling goes the way of Levi's jeans.
Here are interesting links shared at this presentation.
This is the process that Fair Trade Coffee went through (from the "boycott coffee", offered as a solution to coffee farmer poverty in the 1980s). I will suggest that the professors study the history of development in South Korea and Japan and Malaysia, and the importance of "retained value" to the "value added" chain. I think if they study the way places like South Korea actually emerged as OECD countries, they will be more inclined to see progress (from "informal" to "formal" sector) as a better solution than killing the new shoots of immature technical sectors.
Later (couldn't publish this because of poor wireless at Hilton Orlando), I met with the presenters, and also with Jim Puckett, and Sarah and Donald from BAN. More on this later, I have a plane to catch.