e-waste

Publié le par chrislzh

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10395870

"Their report included a copy of an email, sent to recyclers, from an agent asking for waste for export to China.
 
"Due to low labour cost, our well trained workers are able to manually dismantle those electrical and electronic products at lower costs than New Zealand workers do," it said."

Yeah, I can imagine: primary school-age children and their parents sitting on a dirt floor surrounded by piles of e-waste in various states of dismantlement removing highly toxic chemicals by hand with no kind of safety procedures or equipment in some dirt-poor village is little better than subsistence farming on land that will probably soon be stolen by the local government officials and sold off to build a factory whose biggest product is the toxic waste it will dump into the surrounding air, water and soil. Sometimes I can't tell the difference between historical reports of factory conditions in Shanghai in the 30s and modern day news.

"An Auckland man told the Herald he sent "scrap metal" to China but knew nothing about exports of electronic goods such as computers.
 
But the man left his contact details at a used-computer business in Auckland last month."

Of course he knows nothing about exports of electronic goods. But I wonder: Does that scrap metal include any of the "heavy" variety, by any chance?

"It is policed by the Ministry for Economic Development (MED) and Customs. An MED spokesman said that "on very few occasions" the ministry had been given details of "possible exporting of e-waste without the proper authority" but information provided was "not specific" enough for the ministry to take action.
 
Customs spokesman Mike Wotherspoon said there was "no direct evidence" of illegal shipments."

Which begs so many questions.....

"The big fight-back against dumping of electronic products around the world has been "producer responsibility" schemes. Countries such as Sweden have been doing it for years but New Zealand's Ministry for the Environment held its first industry meeting to discuss the issue this week."

Hey Selphiroth, what was that comment someone left in that thread about blood donation and anal sex? "Welcome to New Zealand. Please set your watch back 20 years." Something like that, right?

Unlike the last post, which I edited to remove the embarassment, this time I am stone-cold sober. Well, I just opened a can of Blue Ribbon "stout", I'll admit. And I'll also admit my reaction to this article is unduely pessimistic. Not all Chinese factories or recyclers are evil. Some of them may even be good. But this article does raise some very serious questions about New Zealand's recyclers and their possible contribution to some of the seedier aspects of life and business in China. It's a pity the reporter doesn't seem to have asked too many of those questions, but that may be the editor's fault. Hopefully this will be followed up.

Publié dans chrislzh

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