Now, Here's My Plan...

by Shel Silverstein, 1930 - 1999
What is the right level of tests for a company planning to export for reuse, or export CRT tubes for proper recycling, etc?  There are no CRT glass markets left in the USA, and no secondary copper smelters, and the circuit board refining capacity is all in Europe and Japan.   If it's good to export for reuse, and necessary to export for recycling, how can regulators keep out "toxics along for the ride" (TAR)?

In a past post, I walked through the "decision tree" promoted by some watchdogs to restrict free trade... it shows how a "fully functional" philosophy designed by laymen results in as much or more waste than fair trade agreements.  WR3A and R2 do require standards and tests, and in many ways they are actually stronger than E-Stewards, because they require two-party participation (the overseas refurbisher gets to report that the units were indeed actually working, vs. a USA exporter simply maintaining they are all "tested working").

I've drafted some standards, some borrowed from WR3A, some from E-Stewards, some from R2, and would be interested in getting comments.

The most important thing, which is REQUIRED by EPA for CRT export (and can be applied to other items), is not simply "one time notification".  The exporter must ALSO keep records that the exported material was in fact reused,  and maintain those records for 3 years.  These are also in line with the Basel Convention, which allows exports of CRTs for refurbishment, and circuit boards for recycling, under Annex IX B1110 and B1115.

If you plan on exporting for reuse, or for proper recycling, you need to keep records.   These records have been vital to our "fair trade recycling" program.   For example, when we noticed that "recycling" was increasing on units shipped which had the same testing and prepartion, we were able to find out that some units were in oversupply.  If the factory has more 21" monitors than it has orders for, and begins recycling the excess, it doesn't MATTER if they are "tested working" or "fully functional".  Despite your best intentions, the records show that you should not send any more 21" monitors until the inventory is straightened out, even if they are better than "tested working".

China has, according to display device trade journals, seriously overinvested in LCD production, and a glut is predicted for 2Q 2012.   This is an example of the kind of "big leagues" markets which the huge contract manufacturing facilities work in.  A factory which was importing 5,000 CRT monitors per DAY in 2007 only needed 100,000 per year in 2009.  Only with fair trade agreements like these can USA recyclers react to dynamic markets, adjust purchase orders, and achieve the highest end-use of reuse without sending "toxics along for the ride".

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The Shel Silverstein comic reminded me of Frank Zappa (I enjoyed both dudes the same years), which made me think of the number one rule or standard...  Or was it vice versa?

Watch out where those huskies go, and don't you eat no yellow snow... (Also talks about the furtrapper who was strictly from commercial, with the "unmitigated audacity to jump up from behind my ig-a-loo and he started in to whipping my favorite baby seal..." with a lead-filled snowshoe.)

Some people thought Zappa was a genius, but he never really achieved mass market acceptance.  And he didn't care because he liked what he was doing.  He realized that some of his comic stuff was paying the bills.

He would have appreciated yesterday's reference to the slime coming out of the TV set.  (I feel like the James Joyce of scrap bloggers sometimes, having to annotate my own blogs.)

I may be vile and pernicious
But you can't look away
I make you think Im delicious
With the stuff that I say
I am the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I am the slime oozin out
From your tv set

Well, I am the slime from your video
Oozin along on your livinroom floor

I am the slime from your video
Cant stop the slime, people, lookit me go

More lyrics:

More lyrics:

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