A pair of reports remind us of the hellacious situation unfolding in China, where so-called recyclers of electronics waste melt down circuit boards in their homes, poisoning themselves and the local environment in exchange for a $100 or so a month.
The source of all the tossed PCs, toys and cellphones? All too often, Western nations, for which it is far cheaper to export the e-waste than to recycle it themselves.
“The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world in which it is not illegal to export hazardous waste to less developed countries,” Salon reports. Not only, it seems is China the World’s Workshop, it’s also the World’s Wasteshop.
But as the reports, one earlier this month in Salon, the other just yesterday from the Associated Press, couldn’t possibly be expected to point out, the returning of electronics waste to China also feeds the beast of counterfeit parts that is truly cannibalizing our own attempts to provide reliable, quality products to customers.
As satirist Walt Kelly wrote four decades ago, We have met the enemy, and they are us.