Fahrenheit 1346: The Kindle-ing

Earlier this week, (below) I couldn't resist posting action video of Brian Brundage of Intercon Solutions.   I was kind of defending Brian and Intercon, if having a bit of fun with his predicament.  We will continue to send junk CRTs to companies like Intercon Solutions and ERI, because they have convinced us they will NOT export them.  We export the good ones ourselves, and use the "no export" companies to manage our junk.  It's a symbiotic relationship.  They criticize "exporters" like me, and I use them to avoid exporting "toxics along for the ride".

ERI and Intercon Solutions are some of the best places to go with non-repairable, non-reuse equipment, because of their insistance that they are zero-export, no-intact-unit.  Not that anyone one would want to import the junk CRTs we send them.  No intact unit - wrong policy, but for our purposes that's fine.  When states, led by California, have spent and wasted Five Billion Dollars destroying working computer equipment, you want that money to go to a nice and reputable company.

Fahrenheit 451Both companies have now been publicly accused of being "exporters in secret".  To the degree they export anything, it's probably a very small amount.  Not enough exports, that's my diagnosis.   But some in the community feel they kind of bring this attack on themselves by playing into the parternalistic, black and white, "NO EXPORT" story.

They got too close to the Ayatollah of E-Waste.  The Ayatollahs are the past.  Fair trade, democracy, and kiva are the future.

Like my company, Intercon is a believer in manual disassembly over shredding.   The company has very high employment, and can be proud of the way they take hard drives apart down to the rare earth magnet, down to the platinum plated disk, down to the stainless and aluminum case.   Other companies shred the hard drives.  Intercon's method means more employment, less energy, and less waste.  One of the byproducts of this method is value added parts - such as rare earth magnets from the hard drives, ribbon cables, optic drives or ATX power supplies.

I would expect manual disassembly companies like Intercon to re-export those pieces, as they have far more value than they would in a bale of metal.  Hong Kong allows these imports.  Two or three containers exported to Hong Kong means nothing wrong.  At over 50M lbs per year, Intercon could be expected to export 3 containerloads per week without violating the spirit of R2 or E-Stewards.

The important thing is that Intercon and ERI are managing difficult-to-manage TV CRTs, when other companies (like Redemtech) avoid those like the plague.  I have been disappointed that in their marketing, that they embrace a racist campaign like Basel Action Network, and I am still disappointed that they refuse to export working monitors.  But calling them "toxic waste exporters" over one or two containers?  Enough is enough.

We are living out the scene when the book burners are chased for having saved a book.  These are "fire-fighters". in the Ray Bradbury sense.  Like Guy Montag, these companies have made a career of destroying the display devices which Africans and Asians use for affordable internet.  Like Guy Montag, they are in the end chased by other firefighters, accused of preserving a few of the books they are suppose to be burning.

The melting/softening point of CRT cullet is 730 Celsius (depending on lead content vs. barium panel glass, etc... could be much higher)... Or Fahrenheit 1346.  That's the temperature that working computer monitors are destroyed by E-Steward recyclers.

I like that the display devices and computers I export get used.  People use them in internet cafes, at universities, at hospitals.  And in Malaysia, they may use them to edit videos, and to make videos like this.   Malaysia indie independent political video, 5K reads.  I love it.

"White Elephant BM."  A catchy phrase.  The video advocates for more "horizontal" public works - better roads and trains vs. high office towers for powerful people.

I don't know who my traders in Malaysia advocate for politically, or whether this video is correct or BS.  What I like is that the used product from USA is making affordable internet in the developing world.  Zero export and "no intact unit" policies are on the wrong side, they are the "Firefighters" of the Ray Bradbury novel (Fahrenheit 451).  If you ship to someone with zero export, you are against the revolution.  E-Stewards are not bad people, but they are the bad guys.

As for no-intact-unit, zero-export, no e-waste export for reuse... here is another far more interesting video about taking away the ability to read on "display devices".

1 comment:

WR3A's Robin Ingenthron said...

(I would also expect manual-disassembly companies to have first hand experience working with immigrants, and to be able to vouch that people of color are capable of doing the disassembly work, especially on the items they originally assembled, without pollution, poison, or exported "harm".)