|Accountability for Bad CRT Glass: Here's the beef.|
Two key questions remain after reading BAN's long explanation:
1) what was in the containers?
2) what was Intercon's declared destination for bad CRT glass?
BAN deflects the first question, and says that the Hong Kong authorities had the containers returned. BAN curiously does not reveal CRT Glass Test records, even though BAN knows that domestic recycling of BAD CRT Glass is the most important indicator of whether Good Product is being shipped. BAN... Did Intercon Pass the CRT Glass Test, or didn't they?
Intercon's response that they are not their containers is, I admit, kind of a head scratcher. But BAN's prosecution remains illogical. What if the container had tested working monitors? These would meet the BAN export test, hypothetically. But then BAN reports to the Hong Kong EPA that the containers arriving there "contain hazardous waste". If they were good working monitors, and Intercon had boasted that they had "zero export", rather than doing what I do, that would be a recipe for both to be right/wrong.
Where's the bad glass? In a responsible recycling practice, finding the junk is easier than chasing containers around the world and arguing with protectionist tariff barriers whether the contents were "illegal waste" or "legal commodity". "Illegally illegal" is the fastest growing enforcement - dictators and protectionists calling products "waste" despite signing WTO agreements not to illegally bar trade.
|"primitive" Asian CRT refurbisher|
Here again is a link to the actual language in the Basel Convention: The convention says that export for repair and reuse and refurbishment is legal, and that parties may consider these items a commodity. Again, its unclear what is in the containers, whether they are CRTs. But remember, China bans the import of tested working, fully functional electronics. One week old Pentium 4 laptops are illegally illegal (my reference to labelling something a "waste" for protectionist, non-tariff barrier reasons).
If A) China openly practices this non-tariff trade barrier, and openly states that tested working electronics from an E-Steward are "waste", and B) BAN informs China that BAN has knowledge that the container contains "hazardous waste", this is not exactly a smoking gun. Keep in mind the possibility that the containers could contain fully functional computers as you read this below. Keep in mind, China makes LCDs, and doesn't want anyone to compete with them in anything, working and functional is worse to China than broken.
The key is the CRT Glass Test. Remember, in happier days BAN and I worked together on developing the CRT Glass Test to "out" e-waste recyclers who were not removing anything bad from the loads. That work together resulted in a narrowing of focus to some pretty low actors. Now that BAN is doing it without me, they use the fact someone has *gasp* a SEA CONTAINER in their yard to launch accusations, like the one against PT Imtech of Semarang Indonesia, which ruined hundreds of peoples lives and destroyed Indonesia's first refurbishing and CRT glass processing investment. They have let me know that no matter how excellent that facility, they will never apologize, that the race and nationality makes trade a crime, no matter if it's proven reuse. Some bullshit about the fact they upgrade a piece to a better piece means that it's "waste generation". Close enough to "primitive wire burning" for E-Stewards purposes.
BAN attacks based on the size of the target, not the scale of the problem.
If the recycler is demonstrating that they process bad CRT glass and deliver it to a CRT Glass Recycler, then one presumes they are capable of sending good CRTs. If Intercon is shipping junk CRT glass to domestic CRT glass markets, that's the important thing. If Intercon provided bad CRT glass markets to BAN, and BAN certified and approved them, then I would presume the contents of the three containers to be good.
Conclusion: BAN knows that the proportion of CRT glass properly recycled, to the amount of material received, is the best indicator of what someone is doing - rather than accusations and anecdotes. We published a paper about this, BAN and I, back in 2004. But after this big long Certification process, BAN turns to a photo of export containers from 2009, and says that's the story. Wha...?? BAN audited them... where is the CRT glass? Where is the bad CRT glass, and how much of it? If the company is doing 50M lbs per year, why do we attach so much importance to three incidental containerloads from 2009? Is it the horrible toxic cadmium, which was phased out in 1973? Is Intercon exporting hazardous waste, or a type of product which 40 years ago may have contained said HW?
If those were indicative, then didn't BAN long before notice that the CRT glass shipping records were not 20-50% of the company's volume? Or did BAN find that the CRT glass recycling records were NOT a high percentage of the Intercon throughput? If they were, why make a big deal about 3 containers? If they were not, then why isn't the failure of CRT glass test the story, and why aren't there HUNDREDS of containers?
E-Stewards. RANK AMATEURS. Get Certified at your own risk.
|If you send me correspondence, by definition it becomes my correspondence|