"The Silver Bullet" for E-Waste

What if we could make used electronic scrap ("ewaste") completely non-toxic?
What is "source reduction" and how does it work?

Be careful what you wish for...

What is the number two source of toxic mercury release into the environment?   SILVER MINING
(Number one is gold mining).

Where does tin mining occur?  INDONESIAN CORAL ISLANDS

What is being used to replace lead in leaded solder on circuit boards?  TIN AND SILVER

What is the primary (85%) source of lead in leaded solder?   LEAD RECYCLING

As an environmentalist, I've learned that I, too, need to adapt the "precautionary principle", which is not to institute a change which does harm through lack of consensus.  Lack of consensus certainly includes denigrating those who disagree with you as "sham recyclers" or "primitives" or "illegal" (when your definition is an unadapted amendment, not a ratified convention).

What we must do is avoid embracing solutions which are supported by group think, selling our advocacy for accolades, or just loud politically correct people who flash poor kids photos about.

I'm an avid environmentalist.  My environmental credentials go back to high school, I selected recycling as a career decades ago because it was the alternative to mining and forest cutting.  Sure, I dislike having my recycling ox gored by accusations that recycling is a "sham".   But I've listened.

I came about this the hard way:  The free market supports energy reduction and efficiency.  Recycling is efficient and saves enormous energy (and associated carbon).  The allegation against recycling, and the free market which supports it, are based on the accusation of TOXICS.

If the solutions to the toxics (tin and silver ROHS to replace leaded solder) create more toxins (mercury from mining) and environmental degradation (coral reefs) than the toxics (leaded solder), then the precautionary principle says these are not "solutions".  They are a way to shift harm (residuals from reuse and recycling) into poor countries, like Indonesia, which mine the tin which is the solution to your rich country triple-lined subtitle D landfill.

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