This was an April Fools Day joke. A representative of BAN has expressed concern about our posting of it, see comments section below.
[April 1, 2010 Seattle, Washington] Electronics recycling organization Basel Action Network stunned "ewaste" industry insiders this morning with an announcement that the organization had hired Robin Ingenthron, a former state regulator and CEO of a used electronics exporting company, as its next Executive Director.
Outgoing Executive Director Jim Puckett described the surprise appointment as part of BAN's campaign to spruce up its message. BAN has hired leaders from within the recycling industry before, including Lauren Roman of e-scrap processing company MaSeR. Many other executives have recently made moves in the industry, including former EPA attorney Robert Tonetti moving to Unicor, and former Unicor director Larry Novicky moving to ERI, one of BAN's ESteward founders, but Ingenthron's switch from "export apologist" to export prohibitionist will certainly draw attention.
Puckett attributes the turnabout to the declining economy. "We spent several years trying to get Robin to stop his apologist stance on hazardous e-waste exports. In the end we found out that his company stock price was so low, it was cheaper just to buy him out." The sale of assets from Good Point Recycling was estimated in the thousands of dollars.
Ingenthron was until recently a major critic of what he called "prohibition" export policies, and advocated fair trade policies to improve the export market. However, photos surfaced in the spring of Ingenthron's exploitation of Vermont children, working outdoors in what an environmentalist watchdog's press release described as a "toxic garden of oozing CPU processors" and a "witches' brew" of inert metal scraps.
Asked about his new position at BAN, Ingenthron declined comment, citing (gesturing at) a non-disclosure gag order BAN had issued. Ingenthron will be allowed under the contract to speak only non-western languages, and will be studying Hindi.
"We like the quieter, less argumentative, submissive Robin," said Puckett, who is being promoted to a new position at BAN's office in California as "Chief Engineer of Breaking Stuff". Puckett hopped into a helicopter after the press event, sporting a black robe and long white beard. Industry insiders expect more recycling executives to move to the Seattle watchdog's office, as BAN uses windfalls from its "gross earnings" tax on certified E-Stewards to pick off recycling professionals willing to sign similar non-compete and non-disclosure contracts.
WR3A.org, Ingenthron's former "Fair Trade" non-profit, has been interviewing several candidates to replace Ingenthron. One candidate reportedly interviewed for the "Export Reform" organization, Willie Horton, gained national stature during the Dukakis campaign for his reform message.
Released April 1 2010 This is an APRIL FOOLS DAY satire, written the day after I read Jim Puckett's Opinion Piece in E-Scrap News, which accused our contract manufacturing partners of poisoning people. In Jim's Opinion piece, he states "Some have called exporting such equipment for re-use a form of fair trade; however, there is nothing fair about saving money by poisoning others". I took this as directed at this blog, and the April Fool's satire above seemed like the way to respond with a sense of humor. As is obvious to readers of this column, fair trade does NOT "externalize" costs, it recognizes them, requires they be dealt with, compensates the repair people for them, and audits that no one is poisoned as a result.