Like the Futurama Episode, I expect the Fresh Air with Terry Gross will be a crystalline description of Guiyu in 1999, the last time the scrap yards there were undeniably fed primarily from imports.
Fair Trade and WR3A, its messenger, have failed to gain any sort of elevation in comparison to the "e-waste" alarm stories circulated from the other northern coast. BAN has tremendous power. Congratulations on the coverage on one of my favorite NPR programs. Our Fair Trade Recycling coverage last year, on NPR's Marketplace, has been one-upped.
I feel personally that Basel Action Network has washed their hands of responsibility for the over-reactive rules now issued in China, Egypt, Kenya, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, etc... countries where "4 year old rules" predominate, or (in the case of Kenya) no personal computers at all may be imported, working or not. The shortages impact the middle class of those countries - those with electricity, like university students - but does not impact the hyper-rich in resource curse countries.
If there is an import law which not even E-Stewards can meet, and a demand which can never afford better than "good enough" product, then BAN and WR3A could reach an agreement about where the pendulum has swung too far.
Recommended holiday viewing: Robots.
There is a scene in Robots where the villains are recycling, via shredding, all the "outmode" robots and eliminating spare parts in order to sell more shiny new "Stuff".
There are many images of pendulums in the film as well.
Exports of equipment, working or not, are being curtailed at the same moment as exports of the same equipment are more and more available from places like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and the like. The West is less important as a supplier at the same time as the West creates multiple laws which hari-kari the used electronics, defined as "e-waste", regardless of the age or condition. It's like H1 visas, the more we deny them, the less important it is to those we deny them to. Wounds self-inflicted by images of China so primitive as to be comical. I hope that Terry Gross gets around to asking about Foxconn, Proview, BenQ, Wistron, and why the countries which make virtually all smart devices are portrayed on environmentalist websites as being completely incapable of taking back the devices they made.