So I used to sell to Egypt, now I don't.
I used to sell to Indonesia, but it's illegal now, so I stopped.
And for years I exported to Malaysia for refurbishing, and that factory - which recycled 100% of accidental breakage at the CRT glass furnace in KL - no longer speaks English. We gave them a price cut in return for their obtaining ISO14001 certification. They began a takeback program, creating a domestic Malaysia CRT recycling infrastructure...
It's all dead. Supply and demand.
The E-Waste Industry, at the EScrap Conference in Orlando, will be talking about there being no demand for CRT glass, cathode ray tube cullet. But that's not exactly what there's no demand for.
There's no demand for self-righteous bigotry and b******t.
Back to the drawing board. I can cross off lots of places that are expensive to visit, expensive to audit, and give R2 Auditors the heeby-jeebies. Turns out, the heeby-jeeby feeling is mutual. In Vermont, we have practically eliminated CRT export for reuse. I could become an E-Steward right now, if I was willing to pay the dues. I'm not doing anything they don't want me to do.
So gee... I should look back at the invitation to join E-Stewards, the gracious invitation extended to me last
winter. Sure, I'm qualified now to be a "steward". But, it's wasted on me. See, I'm really not into calling innocent people guilty, and the whole making myself look like a better recycler by making other people look worse. If an all white country club chased off my colored fiance, and said now I could be a member, I wouldn't be too keen with all that.
I'm E-Steward qualified, E-Steward eligible, E-Steward compliant. I'm a good ole e-waste steward boy. Just got to show them my downstreams and write them a check.
|Nasr City, Egypt: Move along, nothing to see here|
Yes, I knew about Discount Computers, the ones selling to Egypt, who were outed and convicted of fraud in 2012. I know because I sold them a load in 2009, and when they gave me the purchase order, it had "Egypt" written all over it. No E-Machines, working or non-working. No 21" monitors. I could go on, but there's really no sense in proving the details. I didn't ask if they were selling them to Egypt, and Discount didn't tell. But I stopped selling after that load, not because I was ashamed of the downstream, but because I didn't want to know something that might get disclosed.
See, I'd have to "disclose the downstream" under the "Tier 2, Tier 3" customer clients, and who knows who gets that information. I didn't want to ask Discount. So I made less money on the monitors, selling indirectly to Egypt via the manufacturer takeback refurbishing factory in Malaysia, which completely rebuilt the monitors, put my Egyptian friend's logo on them, put them in a box with a year warranty written in Arabic (supported by the Egyptian repair company, in a degree of separation).
But Tier 2, Tier 3. The downstream information got to someone, the audit I paid Greeneye Consultants to do of the Malaysia factory, it got into the wrong hands. Someone then outed my friends in Penang and closed them down. Net Peripheral didn't blame me. They knew they took a risk by getting ISO, opening their doors to auditors, and even allowing reporters (author Adam Minter) to come into their offices and photograph their "e-waste" factory. But when the Malaysia EPA showed up at their door, they were holding the Greeneye Audit, and Net Peripheral's legal Malaysia DOE permit. And their DOE told them the import permit was being taken away, because someone informed them it's involved in illegal activity or something. No fine, no penalty, the permit had indeed been issued. But Malaysia didn't want to be seen in the "e-waste" business.
|I'll pretend I didn't see that|
Nullum bonum opus impunita.
Bullyboys. Sometimes it's accidental racism, sometimes it's a case of "Authorities Without Borders". At the all white recycling country club, I hear joyous celebration, bragging over the certification, the back-slapping stewards of "e-waste". This was an environmental lynch mob.
You've put me out of the export business.
You've chased off my colored friends.
You've taken away the twenty two jobs at the Egyptian refurbishing plant, you've arrested the Americans who changed date codes on used CRT monitors. You've created massive piles of "toxic CRT glass" here in the USA. You've driven the SKD factories away from buying from the USA. You've driven down my employment in Vermont by making the scrap worth less per pound (psst, DSM Environmental, money is where the payroll comes from, you don't create more jobs by making stuff worth less money).
Copia et postulant = Supply and Demand
Jim Puckett is speaking at E-Scrap, about his vision, that the USA's management of used computers and displays will be more like Europe's. In his last presentation I saw, he bragged about the bagging of big game like Joseph Benson (although he claimed not to know the name, the man's name was right there in the article on Jim's powerpoint slide). I'm told he's going to brag next week about the piles of CRT glass and cullet he's found, piled in warehouses around the USA... the glass he told us all had been sent to China and Africa, never mind, it's here. No habeus corpus in Africa, where Joe Benson was accused.
The CRT "corpus" is, according to Jim Puckett, right here at home. Now that Jim Puckett found all the glass he thought was being dumped in Africa and China, if Jim wants to extend his apology to Joe Benson, Interpol's Cees van Duijn is speaking at E-Scrap 2013 Orlando, and can carry the message. Oh wait, Jim's focus now is on CRT glass. Hey.. Cees is speaking on the same panel as Retroworks de Mexico, Fair Trade Recycling advocate, Oscar Adrian Orta, who is announcing he has a purchase order for up to 1,200 tons per day of CRT cullet... But Oscar cannot use it, because the market doesn't want to be in a "Tier 2" audit stream. The end market makes $55 million dollars per day. They do not want your phone call, Jim. They are engineers running the largest mining conglomerate in North America.
Oscar is going to stand right there, at Jerry Powell's EScrap Session, with a CRT glass purchase order in his pocket, for all the CRT glass in America, but they no habla e-steward, no habla R2 tier 2. Lost their invitation to our OECD country club.
Europa, Europa. The UNEP funded study of the 279 sea containers seized, with the help of Interpol, found 91% reuse. That's a huge sample. And when the researchers eyes "adjusted to the dark" continent, they found that the dumps with burning e-waste were coming from cities, like Lagos, which had 6.9 million households with TVs back in 2007, two years before the 2009-12 arrests.
|My generation did what??|
But don't be sad, America. There is a big, big flaw in my civil rights "recycling while black" analogy . You may want to stand in the doorway, like Governor George Wallace, and keep these people out of the internet university. You may want to sew a yellow triangle of "waste" on their suits. You may hold all the cards now. But there's this one, big, major difference with the civil rights analogy in the Bullyboys series.
The 3 billion people earning 3 thousand dollars per year are brown skinned. But they are not "a minority". They represent most of the world demand today for cell phones, computers and displays. And if America and Europe want to give them a good excuse not to send their money here and import from us, to make exports from the USA a commerce crime, guess who's the victim?
Bullyboys, touche pas a mon pote. Environmentalists will live down the arrests we started. It may take a generation. But blacks are no longer afraid to enter Alabama universities, and my kids generation will not remember the days when it was "suspicious" to travel abroad for recycling. Heck, I'll bet my grandkids will be able to spend vacation in Cuba, and sell their used gear for reuse to any human who wants to buy it, as free to export as they are to marry in Vermont. But some of my generation's gonna have, in the words of Ricky Ricardo, a lot of splainin to do.