Legal Dual Party Intent

When two parties to a reuse trade both agree on specifications, both agree on terms of delivery, etc., then the next step is to ensure the trade is profitable and legal.

The profitability of the transaction is best left to the parties of the trade.  There's no profit police.

The question in the e-waste trade is legality.  If the trade is transparent, then you can assume that the intent is to be legal.  However, transparency is not always profitable - competitors see what you are doing, and it can affect your head start and your markets.

Sea containers and "shippable quantities" and time constraints can lead to some unintended riders on the transaction, contaminants, etc.   If something is truly e-waste, i.e. discarded, then there would have to be significant avoided disposal cost for the two parties to agree to trans-ship large quantities of the material profitably.   Radioactive and chemical waste have that potential.

For used electronics, the avoided disposal costs are between 10 cents and 40 cents per pound.  The more reuse income is restricted, the higher the disposal costs.  (The northeastern USA rates are approximately half the rates in California, largely due to the SB20 "cancellation rule").

So how does "e-waste" get where it isn't wanted?  The simplistic notion is "high avoided disposal costs (externalization), poor enforcement".  The remedies proposed are more enforcement, reform or externalized markets, or lower internal costs.

What really clouds the discussion is the inclusion of de minimus quantities of unintended and negligible quantities of goods... like the two little capacitors replaced in the repair of a Dell Optiplex.  It distracts limited enforcement, undermines the most capable people who can reform recycling in external markets, and it increases internal costs. 

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