Keeping Recycling Jobs in the USA

This is the new drumbeat from the supporters of the Green-Thompson ban on exports [See article in Miller-Mccune].  If the USA bans export, that creates more jobs, right?   I've explained why sorting 30% of our goods out for refurbishing and 70% for shredding/dismantling creates more jobs here in the USA than shredding/dismantling 100%.   The value alone from the 30% allows us to pay our dismantlers better.

From wikipedia commons, who reported this to google as property?
But what about this idea that we can bring the actual computer monitor refurbishing jobs back to the USA?  Instead of using the factories which made the monitors in the 1990s, who take back and completely overhaul and refurbish them for resale in India, Egypt, and other "good enough" markets, why not take this opportunity to bring monitor factories back to the USA?

Well ok.   Is a single E-Steward doing that?  A single one?  NO.

This is bull****.  Setting aside that a huge percentage of the recycling workforce are immigrants from Mexico...   There is a tiny percentage of E-Stewards (by tonnage or volume) who is doing anything other than taking off lease (working when collected) and reselling it as "refurbished".  Not to denigrate that, it's fine, but there is "no fur on that meat" - it didn't create a hunting or refurb job out of ewaste.

Japan and Korea started to outsource computer monitor assembly and refurbishing more than ten years ago.  It's normal, its the way the economy works.  You don't fight unemployment by banning exports of cotton, thinking it will bring the textile jobs back.

This is why BAN and ElectronicsTakeBack have such a long list of "enemies" of the "environment" - like EPA, UNCTAD, and Fair Trade Recycling.

Kwangi repairing monitors in Senegal is not going to have a counterpart at E-Stewards.   His job is replaced by a shredder which turns the $20 monitor into a $1 pile of scrap.   Then we tax you to send AID to Kwangi?  It's stupid.  Ask, ask Peace Corps.  Ask EPA, ask UNCTAD... groups on BAN's "wall of shame".  Ask BAN why they protested the Basel Convention itself - yes - for listing CRT reuse, refurbishment and repair as LEGAL in Annex IX B1110.

Ban cotten candy and the fairs will serve tofu
The biggest losers in this bill are Geeks of Color who set up internet cafes overseas.  They are forced to buy from back alleys, and to pay more for lesser product.   The second biggest losers are USA dismantlers, who use their intelligence to separate out parts, subsidized by the reuse market.  They will be replaced by shredding machines if you can't resell the parts.  No USA factory is going to open to buy used parts to make CRT monitors etc.  Sorry.

Banning trade does not create jobs.  The Egyptian internet cafes will not leapfrog into LED screens, and the USA Tech Schools won't start classes on CRT refurbishment.

Looking for a really good e-waste recycling job in the USA today?   Try Fair Trade Recycling, open and transparent partnerships between American e-waste recycling companies and refurbishers - wherever they are, USA or not.  It is a great career.  I highly recommend it.  The people you meet overseas, who pay far more for intact equipment than the scrap is worth, have great stories.   Trade with them keeps the added value of equipment in the USA economy, and gives them digital access they could not otherwise afford.  There are people circulating dirty pictures of poor people in order to make us ashamed of the USA jobs we have found, doing business with technicians and geeks worldwide.   They have a lot of retweeters and followers who gots a lots of splainin to do come the revolution.

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