OUTED? Or Scarlet Lettered?

He has a video of himself kick-boxing, or Kung-fu or Jujitsu or something.  The CEO of the recycling company chooses to show videos of himself, on his own website, beating people up.  A "Purple belt".  And now a Scarlet Letter. Talk about "bully pulpit"....

Today, it's his company, Intercon Solutions, who is getting "beaten up" in press releases from BAN and R2 Solutions.  BAN was first... in failing to QUALIFY a company who offered them money, they didn't do it silently.  They loudly threw the applicant to the wolves, basically accusing them of illegal exports based on two containerloads to Hong Kong.  Offer to be E-Steward?  Watch out, the "no" isn't silent.

Intercon had also gotten R2 Status.  R2 Solutions issued a press release, putting Intercon at arms length, removing them from the list of R2 Certified companies listed on R2Solutions.org.

Long-time readers will remember this as a prediction I made in a post after E-Scrap 2009.  [e.g. That a single violator will poison the well for everyone else's certifications in R2, that TV recyclers like Intercon will not be recognized for the heavy lifting, and that BAN would refuse people in a way that drove away applicants].  I said then that I would not be an "early adapter" to either certification, [though we are in the R2 process now].

BAN has signaled that if you offer to pay them and apply to them, that they will not politely decline you.  They may crucify you in a press release based on two containerloads of... THEY DON'T SAY.  It doesn't seem to matter, in their press release, whether these were FULLY FUNCTIONAL, working Pentium 4 laptops which are illegally illegal* to export to Hong Kong, or whether this was circuit boards for burning, or aluminum heat sinks and copper cable.

R2 Solutions probably listened more to their press advisory people [i.e. that BAN could be trying to devalue R2, as their own Pledge was devalued] than to their member community.  R2 Solutions seemed to signal that an accusation by BAN.org will lead to a PUBLIC REMOVAL.  If you are "outed" by BAN, will R2 dump you without a single credible citation of wrong-doing?  Or do they know something BAN kept out of their press release?  There has been nothing presented as to whether these containerloads are baled plastic, aluminum, copper, working product... or whether the receiving entity is reputable, or itself certified.

Maybe the Kung Fu master at Intercon Solutions got what he deserved?  Maybe not.  There is no evidence in either press release.  This is the McCarthy Anti-Export world America lives in.  Green Marketing meets Red Scare.

I don't know if Intercon should be scolded or defended.  I know this:   Semarang Indonesia, when I demanded to know the shipping records of CRT cullet, provided them.  Intercon did not - I got information on their domestic end market from a 3rd party.   Both pass the CRT test.  Both are accused by BAN.


"Have you now, or ever, traded goods with a member of the Communist Party?"

I say again, At long last, have you no shred of decency?  Have you no shame?  Let's look for something in the press releases like Intercon "admits to", or refuses to defend itself.  Otherwise, this is a high tech recycling lynching.  This guy may be guilty, but I damn sure don't trust these judges, and generally someone who opts to be certified by BOTH E-Stewards and R2 Ain't All Bad.

The Scarlet LetterI defended ERI for trading with Gordon Chiu even when ERI was apologizing and outing him (*they took it as an attack on ERI when I defended their decision to ship to Gordon).  I cannot stand by while Brian Brundage is attacked with no evidence other than he exported two containerloads.  I am an exporter.  I know world trade.  I know there are bad exporters, and I don't defend the practice blindly.  But seeing people attacked for nothing other than a sea container leaving their docks makes me laugh.

Brian Brundage and John Shegarian have each put major ego-spin into their company promotions, as have I in my own way.   Each has screamed their anti-export, zero-export, no-intact-unit philosophy.  It makes me cry that people like Ow Young Su Fung of Malaysia, tirelessly helping to bring internet to young eductated idealists in Cairo and Damascus, become, by virtue of their skin and language, "evidence" that these white eco-hillbillies have earned their comeuppance.

My company does business with ERI, and does business with Intercon.  In both cases, we remove good working product prior to shipment to either company because they scream their anti-reuse credentials.  These are the two biggest screamers at brown people in our industry, and they have both been made victims of the Joe McCarthy, anti-export, accidental-racist eco-crusader of our times.  Neither company will allow me to buy on behalf of fair trade recycling, both companies cite their relationship with Jim Puckett as the reason.
“Nevertheless, I will enter,” answered Hester Prynne; and the bond-servant, perhaps judging from the decision of her air and the glittering symbol in her bosom, that she was a great lady in the land, offered no opposition.

Where an earth can I find something more interesting than e-waste politics to write about???

 [Great comments.   One poster suggested that if Intercon misrepresented something, to either BAN or E-Stewards, that may be a case of fraud... but that is different than the allegation that they exported anything bad for the environment. "It's not (a) crime, it's the cover-up?".   Another commenter suggests that BAN jumped to a wrong conclusion that there was anything electronic at all in the containers.   I don't believe any evidence of CRTs has surfaced, I think that is a mis-reading of BAN's press release... though if true, that would involve EPA.   Keep the comments coming!]

* "Illegally illegal" is a term for protectionist barriers put in place in violation of WTO rules, e.g. Doha round on used and refurbished cores in re-manufacturing.  China bans import of week-old, fully functional, tested working goods - if they compete with product made in China, they are defined as "waste".  The "violation" of this Chinese law is not a violation of the Basel Convention, which specifically allows trade in reuse, repair, and refurbishment.  See "Red Scare" post on "competent authority".


Graham said...

Hi Robin, the Electronic Waste Journal said the containers were 'waste CRT's'.

the plot thickens...

WR3A's Robin Ingenthron said...

Graham thanks. But recall that BAN's letter to Indonesia concerning PT Imtech, a CRT refurbishing factory, contained the same claims (containers contained "waste CRTs" - the containers were returned to the USA with seal intact, unopened). BAN's letter to Malaysia (resulting in Samsung Corning CRT plant closing to USA cullet) made a similar pronouncement / claim about cullet recycling. BAN ignores/protests Basel Convention Annex IX B1110 which specifically allows export of CRTs for reuse, repair and refurbishment. So the fact BAN made the accusation is meaningless. However, Intercon has adamantly claimed they do NOT export CRTs for reuse or refurbishment, so the whole thing smells either way.

Graham said...

Sure, I agree that we still don't know very much, just wanted to fill in a little detail.

Anonymous said...

If you look a little deeper, you will find that Intercon Solutions shares a warehouse with a diesel engine remanufacturer that does a lot of business with companies in China. The pictures show nothing but 2 containers sitting in the middle of a truck yard. Absolutely zero evidence and is a shame that this company has to go through BAN's finger pointing BS. Who the hell ships CRT cullets to China anyway? Waste of Money.

Just a bunch of attention whores. I smell a big lawasuit coming.

Anonymous said...

While BAN is enjoying outing this company as the big bad wolf they have no idea what type of damage they are doing to their already negative image. Rather than simply state that Intercon failed their audit end of story, they are dragging them through the mud and playing police. Who in their right mind would ever try and get e-stewards certification after this? Not me? ISO 14001 is looking pretty sweet about now.

If I was Intercon I would go after BAN for slander.