Best New Faces in E-Waste

I am working on two longer posts, hopefully publishable.  This will take me some time.  But in the meantime here are some interesting sources of information who are, independently, finding the same information I am describing.

Dr. Josh Lepawsky, Memorial University.  Excerpt: 
As Dr. Lepawsky explains, these kinds of materials, although highly toxic, are crucial for the survival of domestic industries in countries such as Kenya and Bangladesh, and are a significant source of employment. The establishment of international conventions to halt such trade results in a tangle of issues and questions that Dr. Lepawsky hopes to answer in his research.

Adam Minter, "Shanghai Scrap" Blog.
I met Adam at a Conference in Cornell.   Many of his posts have been supportive of BAN and Greenpeace, and many I disagree with.  But he is honestly writing what he observes in China, and he has the ability to check out different sides of the story.  Here is an excerpt
What Greenpeace doesn’t know – or prefers that others don’t know – is that during the last two years, several of China’s most notorious e-waste processing zones – including Guiyu – have seen real improvements in their environmental conditions. More significant, where those sites still exist, they are mostly filled with domestically generated e-scrap – NOT imported material.

CIMS Director Nabil Nasr, at NY Rochester Institute of Technology, has been studying remanufacturing and reuse markets for a long time.   He is able to put dumping, salvaging, recycling, repair, refurbishment, re-manufacturing, and reverse-engineering, piracy and competition through insights, into a very understandable free-market economy theory which I subscribe to. 

There are many other sources, some UN publications, and a large number of qualified professors who are NOT western, who live in China and Malaysia and India, who are concerned that the pendulum is starting to swing back to far in reaction to the "e-waste export scandal" stories.    I will keep  linking these together, but the point of this post, is that I am not singing off key, alone in the woods.  My friends who believe the story of the export market has been written, and who are investing millions to grind up stuff which the export market is desperate to pay for, will be on the wrong side of history.   We hate the bad exporters, too!  But we think the best way forward is to improve standards, develop a regime for fair trade, and beat them by supplying better and better material for less. 

1 comment:

Adam Minter said...

Thanks, Robin. I appreciate the plug!