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CBS recently exposed one American firm for illegally shipping toxic electronics waste overseas. This practice has taken a severe toll on the health of locals in communities which the trash is shipped to.  (Source: Greenpeace)
American firm found to be illegally transporting tech trash to China, transforming a town in southern China into a toxic wasteland

There's little doubt that China is heavily polluted.  This was showcased at the Beijing Olympics, which were held under constant fear of smog.  The country is also the world's largest CO2 emitter. 

China and the U.S. have long played the blame game over who is to blame for the other's pollution.  NASA studies have shown that as much as 15 percent of the U.S. air pollution is simply smog blown over from China.  The Chinese, however, say that it’s Western demand that is fueling the production and pollution.

However, the worst pollution problems for China may not be high up in the sky, but much closer to Earth, with the soaring problem of e-waste.  DailyTech was among the first in the tech community to chronicle the growing problem of tech trash

The U.S. and other industrialized nations are fueling this problem by shipping countless tons of electronics trash overseas to the lowest bidder.  This trade occurs despite laws trying to stop it and the efforts of many large American electronics firms to stop the practice.

CBS News' "60 Minutes" is the latest to take an in-depth look into the epidemic.  Its report focuses on China, perhaps the nation with the worst tech-trash importing problem.

In China, the deluge of tech trash has led to gang-controlled electronics wastelands characterized by massive landfills, toxic water supplies and low laying clouds of choking gases.

Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist and authority on waste management at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and contributor to the report, describes the situation stating, "Lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, polyvinyl chlorides. All of these materials have known toxicological effects that range from brain damage to kidney disease to mutations, cancers.  The problem with e-waste is that it is the fastest-growing component of the municipal waste stream worldwide."

Many of the chemicals which help make electronics less likely to burn, malfunction, or otherwise go awry, according to the medical community, can cause serious side effects on the human body, if improperly disposed.  And with 130,000 computers thrown out every day in the U.S. and 100 million cell phones thrown away annually, it’s easy to see where China gets its tech-trash.

Many citizens in America are eager to help and endure long lines to submit their old electronics for recycling.  However, understanding of what happens to these components is hazy at best.  Says one man, waiting in line to recycle a computer, "Well my assumption is they break it apart and take all the heavy metals out and then try to recycle some of the stuff that's bad."

It turns out many recycling companies are shipping the trash overseas to make a quick profit, at the expense of polluting the environment, and exposing people in countries like China to deadly health problems.

The "60 Minutes" special looked at Executive Recycling, of Englewood, Colorado, which claimed to recycle all its tech trash in the U.S.  Its CEO Brandon Richter stated of shipping tech trash overseas, "Well, you know, they've got low-income labor over there. So obviously they don't have all of the right materials, the safety equipment to handle some of this material."

Well it turns out that Mr. Richter and the company -- despite its assertion that "Your e-waste is recycled properly, right here in the U.S. - not simply dumped on somebody else" -- were guilty of outright lies.  "60 Minutes" tracked shipping containers leaving the companies facilities, which it inspected and found to be full of cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitors, which can have large amounts of lead and other chemicals.  The company was shipping the containers to Hong Kong, a common stopping point before smuggling the containers into China.

The show tracked the electronics to a town in southern China known as Guiyu, which CBS calls a "sort of Chernobyl of electronic waste".  The town was overrun with corrupt officials, who tried to fool the reporters with a faked shop and then forced them out of town with a police escort.  Risking life and limb and returning to the town, the reporters found people melting boiling lead off components, inhaling massive amounts of lead vapor.  Others were using a gold-extracting acid recipe not used in the western world since the Middle Ages, due to its toxic effects. 

Perhaps it is unsurprising, though very sad that Guiyu, which has the world's highest concentration of cancer-causing dioxins has six times the miscarriage rate as normal.  And seven out of ten children in the town have higher than acceptable lead blood levels, something that has been causing severe mental problems and loss of fertility.  Says a CBS reporter, "These people are not just working with these materials, they're living with them. They're all around their homes."

Mr. Hershkowitz explains, "The situation in Guiyu is actually pre-capitalist. It's mercantile. It reverts back to a time when people lived where they worked, lived at their shop. Open, uncontrolled burning of plastics. Chlorinated and brominated plastics is known worldwide to cause the emission of polychlorinated and polybrominated dioxins. These are among the most toxic compounds known on earth.  We have a situation where we have 21st century toxics being managed in a 17th century environment."

After getting jumped by thugs, hired by the local mayor, CBS narrowly escaped with evidence of the dire situation in hand.

Back in the states, the reporters confronted Executive Recycling, stating, "This is a photograph from your yard, the Executive Recycling yard.  We followed this container to Hong Kong."

Mr. Richter responded, "Ok."

CBS followed, "And I wonder why that would be?"

Mr. Richter responded, "Hmm. I have no clue."

Several emphatic denials later, Mr. Richter stated, "I know this is your job.  But, unfortunately, you know, when you attack small business owners like this and you don't have all your facts straight, it's unfortunate, you know?"

The facts remain indisputable, though -- CBS had solid video evidence that Executive Recycling was illegally smuggling tech trash overseas for a quick profit.  And in a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) study, a sting set up with Chinese officials, confirmed this.  It also found 42 other major tech recycling firms from all across America, more than willing to do the same thing.

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60 Minutes
By amanojaku on 11/10/2008 11:39:42 AM , Rating: 4
One of the few quality news reporting shows left. Keep up the good work.

RE: 60 Minutes
By Motoman on 11/10/2008 12:48:09 PM , Rating: 5
...I do hope you're joking. 60 Minutes is one of the most BS "news" shows ever to occur...

...but in this specific case, I do have to say, astonishingly, that I am in full support with this particular expose. Good on 60 Minutes for having done some proper investigative reporting.

RE: 60 Minutes
By MadMan007 on 11/10/2008 1:10:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yea 60 minutes is pretty cheese as far as news but when they do hardcore investigating like this that shows them being chased and threatened they get a big thumbs up.

RE: 60 Minutes
By nah on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: 60 Minutes
By Spuke on 11/10/2008 1:57:32 PM , Rating: 2
capitalism in full flow..or is it mercantilism--a rose by another other name would still smell--
Yes! We REALLY need to rid ourselves of capitalism. It just destroys everything.

RE: 60 Minutes
By Ringold on 11/11/2008 12:41:35 AM , Rating: 1
Is that an implied connection between capitalism and mercantilism, as if they're the same thing?

If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times: I know history is not actually taught in government schools any more, but capitalism came about as a reaction against mercantilist thought and doctrine. To say that capitalism is another name for mercantilism would be not dissimilar from saying capitalism is not unlike communism.

Capitalism is actually inherently more humanitarian than mercantilism; if we were a mercantile state, we'd probably be doing far less trade with the under developed world, thus.. keeping them under developed. In capitalism, we instead recognize both sides can benefit, and instead of impenetrably high protective tariffs, we work through the WTO to lower barriers to trade.

Not that mercantilism is dead, or that developing countries can't make some protectionist arguments (infant industry theory, for example), but still, you sound like you're veering away from reality in to lefty-wacky-land.

RE: 60 Minutes
By nah on 11/11/2008 2:37:50 AM , Rating: 1
you sound like you're veering away from reality in to lefty-wacky-land.

this is your most promising argument when nothing else fails--for some one who had no training as an economist--you seem remarkably free with assertions of 'economic truths'--for the record--as anyone who's read the basic text --Economics, or similar books--this is by Paul Samuelson--the Nobel Prize winner of the first Nobel Prize in Eco-the Mercantilists were the forebearers of Adam Smith--the granddaddy of capitalism or laissez faire systems. Get a degree in Economics and then maybe we'll talk

RE: 60 Minutes
By gsellis on 11/11/2008 7:39:18 AM , Rating: 1
I have a degree in economics and a bunch of post-grad work for a degree in Econometrics.

I find your post to be infantile.

RE: 60 Minutes
By nah on 11/11/2008 8:25:12 AM , Rating: 1
I find your post to be infantile.

We've all done post-grad work--I've been consulting for the last 8 years and lecturing--perhaps you could deign to give me the reasons--in any event the post wasn't aimed at you--hopefully you could read that part

RE: 60 Minutes
By Ringold on 11/11/2008 3:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
I like how you assume I have no training, I have a degree, though not the post-grad work of the other guy.

If you want to quote books like a bloody noob, then so be it. I never resold any econ book, so here I go. I assume you know what I mean when I say liberal in the context of economics.

A History of Economic Theory and Method, Robert Ekelund and Robert Hebert, pg 61 "Transition to Liberalism ... From a doctrinal standpoint mercantilism broke down because it lost intellectual respectability. In the century prior to 1776, liberal criticism of mercantilism reached a high pitch." pg 68 "By the end of the century ... sharp reactions to the regulatory state emerged in France and Spain, where mercantilism was firmly entrenched. ... And in France, an expatriate from Ireland, Richard Cantillon, to economics to new heights in the pre-Adam Smith era. Because they were transitional figures [this group] contain a mixture of liberal and mercantilist elements, particularly on money..."

Notice that Ekelund clearly distinguishes between liberal thought (capitalist) and mercantilism. It also talks about Boisguilbert, 1646-1714 on pg 77, a Physiocrat, who attacked the mercantile system. I can't find a direct quote, but just looking at the titles of sections, and phrases Ekelund uses, it's abundantly clear capitalism was a reaction to mercantilism -- they're not at all the same! Free trade versus free trade, government control versus maximum individual liberty, etc. pg 99 "Smith's chief concern was economic development. His ideas had a twofold effect: they discredited mercantilism as an economic creed..." How can mercantilism be capitalism by another name if one was created to discredit the other? Sure, capitalism was influenced by mercantilism, but again, Marx was also influenced by liberal thought.

Similarly, Meier's Biography of a Subject on development econ doesn't, if I recall, even talk about mercantilism -- it starts right off talking about Smith and Pigou. In Daniel Fusfeld's "The Age of the Economist," pg 17, it starts talking about the tenents of liberal economic thought in a section called "Opposition to Mercantilism," and states the phrase "laissez faire, laissez passer" originated with a harsh mercantilism critic, Vincet de Gournay.

So anyway, please, tell me where you got your wonderful degrees. I'm already aware of a few universities with Marxist's for faculty who thus produce useless graduates, I'd love to expand my list.

RE: 60 Minutes
By nah on 11/11/2008 10:23:51 PM , Rating: 3
my first post said that capitalism and mercantilism were roughly equivalent--I never said that they were functionally equal. I stand by remarks that Mercantilist thought eventually morphed into capitalist thru Adam Smith--who remains the granddaddy of capitalism

It's strange that a liberal(according to you)like me would attack a liberal system (like capitalism) when all I meant to do was to point out that unchecked capitalism was just as bad as mercantilism- -which was my argument to begin with--

I like how you assume I have no training, I have a

This was simply in reaction to your personal attacks--perhaps you could be more to the point in the future

If you want to quote books like a bloody noob,

It's a sad day when quoting the most well respected and influential Eco book in the US makes one a noob

RE: 60 Minutes
By Penti on 11/12/2008 10:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
That's why your confusing liberalismen as a leftish socialist ideology. Sure it was leftish in the 19th century in contrast to the conservative parties back then.

But in most of the world liberalism is for socialists or leftish social democrats as much a swearword as it is for the neoconservatives in the US but with a different meaning as a representation of the right. The liberal economics and unquestioned loyalty to the free markets, the laissez-faire economics, deregulation and other modern laissez-farie and neoliberal policies. And that is also what liberal parties over here stands for much of the time. Both democrats and republicans are rightist parties in international standards. Of course both has liberal traits. Both believe in free trade. If you don't you aren't really a liberal democratic party voter, somebody like Obama come of as conservative over here. Not a neoconservative though.

With neoliberalismen all that stuff from the Chicago school and Friedman comes along with it and Reagan's and Thatchers experiments too.

Of course there is also many people who believe that economic freedom is much more important the political freedoms. Some of the countries that rank highest in economic freedoms are often an almost total dictatorship and are essentially none free countries. Countries with unfair elections. Sweden which ranks highest in freedom of democracy ranks pretty low in economic freedoms for example, but did you know what? Sweden do rank higher in private property rights then the USA any way. Sweden has less corruption and more privacy too. Less willing to pay bribes and a much better press freedom-ranking too. Those people described in the beginning of the paragraph are liberals. They vote liberal-conservative. And of course does the liberal voters want lower taxes. Most liberals believe in economic liberalism in Europe. And as an example from the US Bill Clinton was a neoliberal too. So his voters more or less support it also.

RE: 60 Minutes
By Ringold on 11/11/2008 3:40:58 PM , Rating: 3
Aha, I just realized the flaw in my argument. Like any good liberal, when pushed, you changed your own argument to one that is far more difficult to attack. Instead of stating again in your second post that capitalism was mercantilism by another name, you said instead mercantilism lead to capitalism. Obviously. And again, capitalism/liberalism lead to Marxism and Keynesian views. But just because one leads to another doesn't mean they are equivalent.

-this is by Paul Samuelson--the Nobel Prize winner of the first Nobel Prize in Eco

You were even wrong about Paul Samuelson; a quick Google reveals that he got the award in 1970, when the first was given in 1969 to Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen. Samuelson was the first American to bag the award, not the first one to receive it.

Time to put up or shut up instead of dodge, "nah." Prove the equivalence between tight state control of the economy, a limited view of trade and the free market, free enterprise, individual liberty view of capitalism.

RE: 60 Minutes
By amanojaku on 11/10/2008 1:42:18 PM , Rating: 2
I have to disagree with you, although it's not the 60 Minutes of the past. The show isn't perfect (hell, there's a growing list of controversial reports) but it's better than anything you'll get from shows like Fox News. A lot of the issues 60 Minutes covered weren't even mentioned on other shows, and the coverage is generally more in-depth. Of course, everyone has a bias, and mine happens to lean in the direction of 60 Minutes for now.

I read and watch almost every news article and program just to compare them, and no one is perfect. Out of curiosity, what do you consider to be a non-BS news show?

RE: 60 Minutes
By Tsuwamono on 11/10/2008 1:48:15 PM , Rating: 3
Ya but your comparing it to Fox news... thats like saying "Yes i agree Honda Civics aren't fast, but its no Geo Metro..."

RE: 60 Minutes
By MadMan007 on 11/10/2008 3:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
BBC Wolrd News is about the best I've seen for straight-up news reporting although it's still just reporting and not as much commentary. Some other European news agencies are OK but they aren't on often enough. Those tend to have more diverse world news stories.

Otherwise News Hour with Jim Lehrer is nice because they still follow the former mandate of equal coverage. The commentary they get for news items is good and they get both sides of an issue when there's more room for interpretation without getting fringy zealots.

Notice a trend? All those news shows can be found on PBS.

RE: 60 Minutes
By Ringold on 11/11/2008 12:50:11 AM , Rating: 3
BBC admits it has a left-wing bias, and PBS squelched part of an expose on Islamic radicals.,2933,303381,00.html

I'm more disturbed by the PBS censorship than the BBC part, though. No surprise that journalists are liberals, BBC is just being honest.

RE: 60 Minutes
By MadMan007 on 11/11/2008 1:33:56 PM , Rating: 1
The article about the BBC was talking about the BBC as a whole, it mentions TV shows and films too. The BBC World News is still far more informative than any US news broadcast when it comes to world events. I'm a skeptic when it comes to news and information but usually it reports events and facts but I'm smart enough to filter them anyway. They actually have reporters in the field doing front line journalism which is becoming less common in the news media.

Last spring ABG Films and PBS reached a compromise. The PBS network would not run "Islam vs. Islamists" in the "America at a Crossroads" series, but Oregon Public Television would make the film available to individual public TV stations to run when those stations wished.

According to figures provided FOX News by ABG Films, "Islam v. Islamist" has run on more than 70 public TV stations, but not in at least 15 of the top 40 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or Washington, D.C.

I think I may have seen that episode myself which is why I was confused about your comment. In any case that's not about the News Hour plus it's Fox...enough said there ;)

Is either one perfect? No, probably not, and we all know finding examples of at least one Bad Thing is possible with any organization. Are they a hell of a lot better than network news? You betcha.

RE: 60 Minutes
By Ringold on 11/11/2008 3:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
The BBC World News is still far more informative than any US news broadcast when it comes to world events.

I actually agree with that, it's less sensational. On my google homepage, I use BBC news as my main news feed. The more global coverage alone makes it superior; America is but a part of the world, important things happen outside our borders that never get attention on CNN.

In any case that's not about the News Hour plus it's Fox...enough said there ;)

The link was Fox, but that just happened to be the one I yanked off Google, there are many others. It made quite a stir even among liberals due to the fact it was censorship.

But are both better than CNN/Fox? I agree with you, they are.

RE: 60 Minutes
By Motoman on 11/10/2008 5:34:07 PM , Rating: 2
...have to agree with the Civic vs. Geo comparison...

To your other point though, I have to be honest that I watch very little in the way of "news" programming anymore. I used to be addicted to CNN Headline News...but following in MTV's footsteps, they don't actually show news anymore... And besides, Rudi Bahktiar (sp) left CNN for Fox. And then we found out she's kind of dense.

I do read much stuff on every day. I think shows like the Daily Show and the Colbert Report are more valuable to the viewer than Fox News of 60 Minutes.

RE: 60 Minutes
By Reclaimer77 on 11/11/2008 5:15:15 PM , Rating: 2
I think shows like the Daily Show and the Colbert Report are more valuable to the viewer than Fox News of 60 Minutes.


RE: 60 Minutes
By straycat74 on 11/11/2008 9:54:05 AM , Rating: 2
but it's better than anything you'll get from shows like Fox News

1. Fox news isn't a show.

2. You obviously never watch it. I listen to Talk radio more than tv news, and I can tell you that there is very little slant in either direction, UNLESS they tell you otherwise. UNLIKE MSNBC, where Chris Mathews said he is going to do everything he can to make sure Obama's presidency is successful, because NOW (not the last 8 years) our country needs it.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Yeah, well, you know what? I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work, and I think that – JOE SCARBOROUGH: Is that your job? You just talked about being a journalist! MATTHEWS: Yeah, it is my job. My job is to help this country. SCARBOROUGH: Your job is the make this presidency work? MATTHEWS: To make this work successfully. This country needs a successful presidency.

link with video

RE: 60 Minutes
By Reclaimer77 on 11/11/2008 5:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
Msnbc is absolute garbage. Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann are the most biased people on the planet. And Olbermann is a complete abomination and an insult to everyone who calls themselves a serious journalist/reporter. The man has none, zero, integrity.

Fox news gets a bad name because they have the guts to report things how they are. And nothing chaffs liberals bottoms like the truth or someone who dares to go against the populist grain.

A recent independent study from an analyst group reported that Fox News's election coverage was 40% Obama and 40% McCain. While every other major news network was HIGHLY slanted in Obamas favor. Some as far as 80%+ !

Fox biased ? I don't think so. Its impossible to be 100% balanced on everything, but Fox is the closest thing we have. Hell, they are the only ones even TRYING to be balanced.

RE: 60 Minutes
By g35fan on 11/11/2008 1:55:35 AM , Rating: 2
well put. Good investigation here. End goal is to alert more people about this ever growing problem. Can't really blame the recycling firms - this is the norm and has been for many years. Corruption runs deep, not just in America. Obama signals change, however, true change will not occur until a president has the power to truely clean house of corrupt officials. FDA, FTC, FCC, etc.

You're right - 60 minutes is incredibly biased. Doubt you'll ever see any pharmacutical investigations as they wouldn't want to piss of their sponsers.

By Elementalism on 11/10/2008 1:09:42 PM , Rating: 5
We export our pollution to other countries. We also export our oil drilling and logging as well. To places run by tyrants or where tree's take far longer to regrow(siberia).

But we feel all warm and fuzzy thinking we are helping when we recycle or drive a prius. That prius battery will end up in a land fill in some 3rd world dump btw.

RE: This is America's envrionmental movement on display
By Spuke on 11/10/2008 2:10:50 PM , Rating: 5
I'm only down for c. The others are unethical and illegal.

By phxfreddy on 11/10/2008 4:24:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yah neuter welfare families would go a LONG LONG way towards cutting down the negatives in the USA. And not really anything to do with the environment unless you are talking about the people environment!

By Lord 666 on 11/10/2008 5:32:58 PM , Rating: 2
I guess less trailer parks and PoS cars on the road

By Lord 666 on 11/10/2008 6:10:24 PM , Rating: 3
Exporting CRT tubes is both unethical and illegal, but it seems people will do anything for money

By rudolphna on 11/11/2008 9:28:41 AM , Rating: 2
Damn FITcamaro imposters.

By MadMan007 on 11/10/2008 12:00:58 PM , Rating: 5
The electronics just want to gooo hooome, after all they're all made in China right?

Just the latest round in the new covert war of cross-country poisoning. They poison our kids with toys and milk, we poison theirs with toxic e-waste.

By AssBall on 11/10/2008 12:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
We also got 'em back with most of Hollywood entertainment AND our music industry! Take that, China!

By mooncancook on 11/10/2008 6:24:29 PM , Rating: 2
And in return, they steal your software. And if you decided not let them steal your software, they'll threaten to sue you.

By pugster on 11/13/2008 6:00:20 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is the US. Even if China had stepped up and refused to take this e-waste, other countries would take that stuff off our hands. It could end up in some Garbage Dump in India, or a 'recycling' facility in Kenya, Bangladesh or in Bolivia. Second, this kind of e-waste disposal is not new as there it was documented since 2001. US and European countries made it illegal to export e-waste yet they turn a blind eye if they do.

By DaveSylvia on 11/10/2008 1:35:44 PM , Rating: 4
This article annoys me and it’s not because of the content. There definitely needs to be more awareness of the impact that electronic recycling has on countries that are not equipped to handle it. The issue I have with the article is that I found it misleading. The reason I say this is because of two things:

1. The CEO, when told that some of Executive Recycling’s containers ended up in Hong Kong, he seemed somewhat perplexed. The quotes chosen of that dialog don’t at all portray that and in fact strip all of the connotation from conversation. The CEO stated that he could not believe they ended up there and seemed confused as to how it occurred. This wasn’t some business suit wearing CEO sitting cozily at a desk!

2. As the article does quote, the CEO said, “I know this is your job. But, unfortunately, you know, when you attack small business owners like this and you don't have all your facts straight, it's unfortunate, you know?” and then respond with: “The facts remain indisputable, though” while not mentioning that the reporter in a voice-over after that sequence stated that the containers that came from Executive Recycling and ended up in Hong Kong were actually shipped from Executive Recycling without permission . The reporter didn’t go into more detail on this and worse it wasn’t mentioned in this DT article! Why? We don't know what happened behind the scenes that caused those containers to be shipped against the wishes of the company.

RE: Hmm!
By MadMan007 on 11/10/2008 4:04:36 PM , Rating: 2
I understand and commend your skepticism on the reporting to make sure it's fair but you must have missed the part about the GAO sting. In a 'small business' the CEO or owner shouldn't be so far removed from operations that a rogue employee can go and make whatever deals they want, and I don't think the employees would willingly counter company policy on their own decision. This assumes it was company policy to deny illegal deals which doesn't seem to be the case.

RE: Hmm!
By yangyoning on 11/10/2008 9:45:58 PM , Rating: 4
Have u ever heard a honest thug? They are not a stupid company. Of course they aware the shipping to Hongkong. The rebel workers scenario is planned to counter if something like this happened.

I am from Chinese. And this kind of this DOES happen.

I want my cheap electronics please
By InternetGeek on 11/10/2008 11:43:40 AM , Rating: 4
Sad as this is, perhaps countries buying crap should also take an active role in this problem. If crap is refused and there's no other option than to ship it back to the country of origin then maybe something will be done about this issue.

By TimberJon on 11/10/2008 12:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
nonononono you see.. the amount of metals that they can melt off electronics yields more money USD now than when you bought your phone. Gold, Nickel, silver, copper, Etc... make huge cash when you process enough of it. They won't refuse it becauase some crooked businessman/businesswoman gets paid all day long to do nothing but live and shop. They pay an accountant or whatever a good wage to keep all the workers on low pay, not caring about their health.

It's like gravy money.

RE: I want my cheap electronics please
By rcc on 11/10/08, Rating: 0
By Slaimus on 11/10/2008 3:32:59 PM , Rating: 4
The show tracked the electronics to a town in southern China known as Guiyu, which CBS calls a "sort of Chernobyl of electronic waste".

This is actually wrong. The container 60 Minutes tracked to Hong Kong was rejected as not importable, and sent back to Executive Recycling.


It turns out Hong Kong customs intercepted the container and sent it back to Executive Recycling, Englewood, Colorado, the contents listed as "waste: cathode ray tubes."

By fictisiousname on 11/11/2008 10:20:53 AM , Rating: 2
I caught that too, but wasn't sure if it was the SAME container or another one.

Thanks for bringing it up.

By rs1 on 11/10/2008 4:53:48 PM , Rating: 3
In China, the deluge of tech trash has led to gang-controlled electronics wastelands characterized by massive landfills, toxic water supplies and low laying clouds of choking gases.

So basically what you're saying is, it's just like Fallout 3? Awesome, time to break out the power armor and the plasma rifle, and go kick some raider ass!

Problem I like to see resolve here...
By The0ne on 11/10/2008 1:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe in all my years working in the Tech and Manufacturing business, large or small, have I encountered one that did recycle their old equipments. Most managers don't even have a clue what it (recycling) is or care enough to give a damn. I'm usually the one that calls in the a company, if there's any around the area, to come pick them up.

The downside to having this done of course is that those companies that take the equipments will more than likely ship them overseas for processing. And the sad part is that it's just not the "trash" but also old toolings, supplies or any other parts that US companies don't need but don't want to use them anymore.

For example, their Coke soda pop uses the snap off clip. This is an old tooling from the old days here. Just from this alone, they have piles of this little clip as trash. Unbelievable.

As someone already stated, US and China companies really don't care because there's money to be made regardless of the damages it may cause.

By William Gaatjes on 11/10/2008 6:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
Teach a few of the smarter people o those waste yards what is hazardous and what is not. Let them teach the others. Make them aware. They have love for their children too and will listen. Donate for 1 time the proper tooling and equipment. Work together with the chinese goverment to let them recycle our electronic garbage and make agreements to keep the tools and equipment (factory) within specifications. Problem solved. People have a job. Waste is taken care of properly and people don't get sick. We lose our E-waste.

And put the guy and anybody else responsible for a long time in jail. Rules are rules.

I have a problem with this.
By tconlon3 on 11/11/2008 4:50:37 AM , Rating: 2
A number of years ago, a French company sold scrap ships to a Chinese scrap company. The holds were also filled with scrap - radioactive scrap that caused a great amount of trouble. Since then, the importation of scrap has been banned into China, except from a few licensed scrap processors in Vietnam. I run a factory in China and tried for years to import scrap cast iron from the US. I finally gave up - not a chance of getting a permit for this. It is a criminal offense for bringing in any used medical equipment. I question and have reservations about this report as the importation of scrap is basically banned and enforced by a agonizingly thorough customs systems.

So according to the report...
By AmishElvis on 11/18/2008 7:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
the reporters found people melting boiling lead off components, inhaling massive amounts of lead vapor. Others were using a gold-extracting acid recipe not used in the western world since the Middle Ages, due to its toxic effects.

...the parts were being recycled.


Richter, eh?
By theanomaly1 on 11/10/2008 11:58:40 AM , Rating: 1
I wonder if he and Scott are related...

Criminal intent?
By WoWCow on 11/10/2008 12:38:58 PM , Rating: 1
"I know this is your job. But, unfortunately, you know, when you attack small business owners like this and you don't have all your facts straight, it's unfortunate, you know?"

Small business in America exporting trash instead of real work, no wonder our economy tanked.

By MadMan007 on 11/10/2008 1:26:52 PM , Rating: 1
The one argument supporting this type of practice is similar to the one that developing nations use to explain other pollution. It is that they are developing and after all, developed nations polluted a lot during their development as well. I see this often wrt power generation, especially coal-fired power plants, Chinese also use a lot of coal in homes for stoves and heating with coal tech that hasn't changed since its early days.

The problem with this argument is that it assumes that new development should be the same as development that took place 50, 100, or 150 years ago as if there have been no advances in the meantime. I understand there is a balance between spending more for modern techniques versus having more generation to benefit more people but in the long run they will upgrade or replace those plants anyway. This argument is poor because is ignores advances that have been made by excusing them as 'fair' without the context of time.

This is old news.........
By RoberTx on 11/10/2008 2:00:45 PM , Rating: 1
This is old news. CBS is far from the first to report on this.

By shoopdeewoop on 11/10/2008 2:14:50 PM , Rating: 1
Am I the only one who isn't too worried about this?

I mean, once the planeteers hear about this, they are going to have Captain Planet so far up some polution causing A$$...

"Captain planet, he's our hero, gonna take polution down to zero!!!"

60 Minutes E Waste program
By Patrick Duffy on 11/10/2008 3:40:30 PM , Rating: 1
In the program it was mentioned that in addition to the Colorado firm there were 42 other recycle companies in the US that export e-waste to China. Where can I get a list of the other 42 companies? Patrick Duffy

Ecological bubble as metaphore
By bupkus on 11/10/2008 4:05:55 PM , Rating: 1
If we as Americans are to ever lead the world again it will need to be a model of self sufficiency. We need to recycle all of our own garbage. With that we should attempt to manufacture all of our own product needs. We should also have as a goal the ability to supply all of our energy needs as well.

With this we can not only export these technologies and processes we can claim the moral high ground of not polluting our neighbors and not creating climate change that impacts poor developing nations.

Whether you believe pollution causes global warming or not doesn't matter. The perception of America using the majority of world resources exists and makes the US as an easy scapegoat for the world's problems.

I know it may seem like I'm suggesting a peculiar form of isolationism but not so.

With proper leadership and application of national assets I believe we can, we must move into the next millennium and lead the world if need be.

By Golgatha on 11/10/2008 4:28:16 PM , Rating: 1
I wish 60 Minutes would name say the 5 largest recycling firms who were not willing to ship e-waste overseas and actually recycled it properly.

Why should we care?
By jhb116 on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Why should we care?
By audiomaniaca on 11/10/2008 11:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
You don't need to care. It simply shows how some people can be selfish about themselves.

No government in the world embraces such thing. These things happens behind the scenes. Also, what the hell cyber war has to do with illegal overseas shipping of e-waste?

RE: Why should we care?
By tmouse on 11/11/2008 7:25:54 AM , Rating: 3
No government in the world embraces such thing

While I don't condone the tone of this sub-thread it is absolutely ludicrous to assume enormous amount of toxic garbage can be smuggled in and processed without the blessing of the government. Come on; there are mountains of the stuff and do you really think the government is unaware of all of the smoke produced by the burning and the high amount of deaths and illnesses? Do you think 60 minutes was able to get information the Chinese government could not? Of course it’s done with their knowledge.

Take care of it?
By HostileEffect on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Take care of it?
By noxipoo on 11/10/2008 11:42:36 AM , Rating: 2
how can you future proof a computer? tell microsoft to never put out another product? then you go on to say upgrade it, what do you do after the upgrade it? the extra parts still go in the trash. 6 years? so you will just throw it away 6-10 years later. are you on a computer from 1998?

RE: Take care of it?
By HostileEffect on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Take care of it?
By Reclaimer77 on 11/10/2008 6:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
Pick the right parts at the beginning of the next platform cycle, ex: LGA775, DDR2, PCI-E 16X, the computer should give you a nice 6+ years of gaming.

Laughable statement. No computer you could POSSIBLY build now, will be a " gaming " computer in 6 years.

RE: Take care of it?
By xNIBx on 11/10/2008 10:36:11 PM , Rating: 3
I had a p4@2.4ghz(northwood b) with a 9700pro(bought mid 2002). I could play almost all games on it for 5 years. Then i got a c2d and a 8800gts(late 2006). It will probably also last 5 years. Learn when to upgrade and gaming computers can last you as long as consoles.

Especially now that pretty much all games are "multiplatform", getting a new computer after the release of a new gen consoles is probably the wisest thing to do.

RE: Take care of it?
By amanojaku on 11/10/2008 11:47:50 AM , Rating: 2
I do that know. I'm running an Athlon XP 2500 as my media server, and it's only now starting to show it's age. The problem isn't that simple to solve, unfortunately. Any component runs the risk of becoming obsolete and not everyone is savvy enough to know that a single component can be upgraded without tossing the whole unit. Worse, companies thrive on sales; can you imagine the financial furor if we stopped buying components every 1-3 years?

I remember when TV's lasted 30 years. You're lucky if a TV makes it to 10 these days. Planned obsolescence? Poor quality control?

RE: Take care of it?
By Suza on 11/10/2008 1:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with you. It's not that hard if you can plan ahead when buying a new computer or when upgrading it. Choosing good components and maybe waiting a couple of months for a new platform pays off in the long run. I'm writing this on a five year old Pentium M laptop and intend to keep on using it for at least five years more. :)

60 minutes catches a liar? Themselves?
By montgom on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
By masher2 on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Clearly?
By MadMan007 on 11/10/2008 11:58:39 AM , Rating: 2
'Choice between poverty and poison is not a choice that should have to be made' as one person on the show put it. I don't recall that 60 minutes said the 'thugs' were 'hired by the mayor' however. There were interviews with some of the workers as a matter of fact. As for the number of people, would it be ok if it was a low number? Clearly the proportions of people affected in the area are large and this isn't the only area that it goes on I'm sure.

It helps to have watched the show in question or at least ask questions before jumping to conclusions.

RE: Clearly?
By masher2 on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Clearly?
By wvh on 11/10/2008 8:52:22 PM , Rating: 4
You assume the Chinese people have a completely free and informed choice. You know this not to be true.

Furthermore, China or elsewhere, changing towns and landscapes into toxic wastelands is simply not a practice that can be sustained. Pollution doesn't stop at borders, and no matter how much you minimise the number of miscarriages, cancers and other health risks, reality shows an immediate and shocking impact on human beings and their environment.

To knowingly inflict this borders on the line of criminality.

RE: Clearly?
By Reclaimer77 on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Clearly?
By Oregonian2 on 11/11/2008 11:00:33 PM , Rating: 1
To knowingly inflict this borders on the line of criminality.

Even if the trash was "Made in China" to begin with and is just being returned to the country of origin?

RE: Clearly?
By sleepeeg3 on 11/10/2008 8:47:02 PM , Rating: 1

I have seen this before... I spent about a day trying to find a free, comprehensive recycling resource for all major electronics. What I found - there is no such thing. Which leaves the pay recycling programs that are just shipping the parts off to China.

We live in ignorance that this is happening, yet the reality is we have no alternatives. There is no financial incentive to fix the problem so it will keep happening until China steps up and decides to starts taking care of its citizens and forcing the world to find a solution to the waste. Fat chance that will happen anytime soon.

So blame China!

RE: Clearly?
By sleepeeg3 on 11/10/2008 8:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and I see no solutions offered in this article.

RE: Clearly?
By kbehrens on 11/11/2008 10:19:35 PM , Rating: 2
The "solution" is for us all to stop using the evil products of technology. Then we can return to a simpler, more fulfilling life of weaving daisies and dancing naked in parks.

RE: Clearly?
By JasonMick on 11/10/2008 12:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
First let me remind you that the acts of this company, which you seem to be supporting, or at least condoning are ILLEGAL under U.S. laws. They are breaking the law.

In response to your comments:

Suspiciously absent from this article is any hard data on how many people-- if any at all -- are being negatively affected by this trash.


Perhaps it is unsurprising, though very sad that Guiyu, which has the world's highest concentration of cancer-causing dioxins has six times the miscarriage rate as normal. And seven out of ten children in the town have higher than acceptable lead blood levels, something that has been causing severe mental problems and loss of fertility.

I think that sums it up pretty well.

Let's think about why there might not be more extensive data past this, rather abundant data on the health effects. First, the vast majority of these people have little if any health coverage by American standards. You can live with many ailments, resultant from toxin exposure, such as cancer or infertility for years, so a dramatically higher mortality rate is not necessarily expected.

Further, there's not monetary motivation outside of a pure research motivation to investigate the exact extent of the people's health problems. However there have been extensive studies on the effects of lead exposure, etc. on children and adults here in the U.S. and they have shown conclusively that exposures such as lead poisoning among children have a great deal of severe health effects.

If you don't believe this, ask any doctor, he or she could easily refer you to the medical literature on pediatric lead exposure.

Further, I find your "all or nothing" mentality with respect to this situation disturbing. If these recycling firms were willing to spend a small amount of their profits they could invest in more humane working conditions. Your argument that there is no way to harvest these components safely without depriving these people of their livelihood is a weak one. You could use the same illogical argument to justify sweatshops, etc.

In the end it comes down to greed, and a willingness among some companies in industrialized nations to exploit third world workers, despite the effects on them, when they could easily provide humane working conditions.

RE: Clearly?
By Iaiken on 11/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: Clearly?
By Reclaimer77 on 11/10/2008 8:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
Is it thier fault that thier ignorance is being taken advantage of for a buck?

You know you are way off base here. You are acting like China was a lush paradise until the dirty American's came and leaded them up so to speak.

China has had a horrible environmental record for decades. Especially when it comes to lead. You simply cannot dump their problems on our laps because of this very recent " issue ".

And how are they being taken advantage of ? Legal issues aside, you frankly insult their intelligence by assuming they are too stupid to understand whats taking place here. Seeing as how its our own laws being broken, and they aren't the ones complaining, I think you owe them an apology.

RE: Clearly?
By masher2 on 11/10/2008 6:10:18 PM , Rating: 4
> "They are breaking the law."

Whatever happened to innnocent until proven guilty? According to 60 Minutes -- which is making money off their sensationalist accusations -- the company is guilty. But it wasn't that long ago that 'Dateline' was telling us about an evil automaker, selling dangerous car that exploded in minor crashes, with video footage to prove it . . . without telling us about the overfilled gas tank, the loose gas cap, and the hidden rockets used to ignite it all.

In any case, the real issue isn't this US company, it's the Chinese workers themselves, and the Chinese government. They should be the one setting standards and working conditions for themselves -- not us. Clean working conditions mean nothing to a man dead of starvation. It wasn't that long ago that Chinese were dying in droves of just that-- starvation. Even today, millions of Chinese die from preventable maladies, and go without basic medical care. Why? Because they can't afford it. And until either you or 60 minutes start paying their medical bills, I don't believe you have the right to tell these people what jobs they can take, and what risks they can accept.

> "In the end it comes down to greed"

And you accuse me of oversimplifying?

RE: Clearly?
By Reclaimer77 on 11/10/2008 6:12:19 PM , Rating: 1
Jason how can you bring up lead poisoning in China with a straight face and point the finger at us ? Isn't China the country that has been exporting goods loaded with lead, even in childrens toys ?

RE: Clearly?
By masher2 on 11/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: Clearly?
By on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Clearly?
By masher2 on 11/10/2008 10:09:10 PM , Rating: 1
> "The industry doesn't have to be destroyed, merely changed"

You're not paying attention. There are many people calling for a complete and total ban of all exporting of e-waste, under any conditions at all, safe or not. That would most certainly destroy the industry utterly. In fact, some nations have already passed such bans, and legislation has come up for vote in several US states.

> "But I suppose I should believe a layman, libertarian nutter about environmental policy over these journals?"

Didn't read your own link, did you? "These journals" is in reality the "unpublished figures" of one woman, who simply says the miscarriage rate is "much higher", without giving any specific data, or noting whether she's done standard epidemiological corrections for income, medical care, and other conditions in the area.

Rather than blindly accepting authority figures, why not use your own brain? Guiyu should, due to its population, have a significantly higher miscarriage rate, regardless of environmental conditions there.

Honestly, I'm surprised at the level of gullibility being displayed here. I don't doubt that problems exist in Guiyu. But, given the tens of thousands of people live in the city that don't work with e-waste, if the city truly was a "toxic wasteland" killing people like flies, don't you think there'd be just a little of protest over it? This isn't the China of 30 years ago -- there are regular protests for much more minor problems than deadly working conditions.

RE: Clearly?
By MadMan007 on 11/11/2008 1:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
To be legal a protest has to be registered and approved with the government ;) So basically it's what the government allows or all-out rioting.

RE: Clearly?
By Ringold on 11/11/2008 2:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
Um, not quite. I don't have the numbers handy, but there are tens of thousands of protests annually in China -- many of them, according to The Economist, over environmental issues. Don't confuse the Olympics with the status quo.

RE: Clearly?
By piroroadkill on 11/12/2008 3:44:04 AM , Rating: 2

To say the problems of Guiyu are not caused by massive mis-handling of tech trash is false.

RE: Clearly?
By Reclaimer77 on 11/10/2008 8:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps it is unsurprising, though very sad that Guiyu, which has the world's highest concentration of cancer-causing dioxins has six times the miscarriage rate as normal. And seven out of ten children in the town have higher than acceptable lead blood levels, something that has been causing severe mental problems and loss of fertility.

Now wait, this alone is not exactly condeaming. When did this start ? How long ago did the rise in mortality begin ? Does this correlate at ALL with when we started exporting " tech trash " ? Are there domestic factors attributing to this ?

I think that sums it up pretty well.

You would, because you're a " journalist ". Who, much like scientists these days, set out to prove a point.

RE: Clearly?
By arazok on 11/10/2008 12:22:10 PM , Rating: 5
I watched this last night. It was a good piece.

One angle that was glossed over was the poverty vs the environment argument. 60 minutes interviewed a Chinese worker, who said he could feel the effect on his lungs from burning components to separate the base materials. They asked him why he continued to work there, and he said because the money was good. He earned 8 dollars a day, which was substantially more then he could earn elsewhere.

60 minutes discussed this with an expert, highlighting that this person knew it was unhealthy but choose to do it anyways. He said that of course people are going to choose not to live in poverty, but this stuff is killing them, so the choice shouldn’t be available to them. Essentially saying that they were making the wrong choice. That was as deep as 60 minutes took the issue.

I love to see people living in 1st world conditions thinking they have a clue about life in the 3rd world. When you live in a cardboard box, malnutrition is going to kill you long before cancer will. I think it’s extremely misguided to take an opportunity away from these people, even if the opportunity is a poor one.

RE: Clearly?
By Gzus666 on 11/10/2008 12:26:18 PM , Rating: 1
Right, but unless Chinese have built in air filters that I don't know about, the air eventually will move around and hit other countries. Not a big fan of breathing in toxic fumes, not sure about you. Personally I don't think their short sighted well being is worth it, especially since they and their kids will just die from it anyway.

Bottom line is they are breaking the law sending that crap to other countries. They need to be jailed for this kind of crap.

RE: Clearly?
By arazok on 11/10/2008 12:47:49 PM , Rating: 5
Certainly breaking the law should result in prosecution. The argument I have is that it shouldn’t be against the law to export trash. It’s up to the receiving country to decide if it wants or does not want this sort of business.

I understand people think they are helping these countries by not giving them our trash, but you are only continuing the cycle of poverty. These sort of industries are the foundation of industrialization. As more people are lifted from poverty, they will demand better pollution controls, which will result in investments in better processing equipment, and further increases in the standard of living. You don’t jump from poverty to industrialization without taking these steps.

RE: Clearly?
By raejae on 11/12/2008 12:45:05 AM , Rating: 2
Except that the parent only mentioned the poverty issues in passing; the issue he brought up (and certainly the one I'm more concerned about--if it wasn't for this I'd agree with you) is that with this trash, what goes around comes around. Those fumes and toxic waste don't just sit there; the waste leeches into the ground and affects water supplies miles away, certainly with no respect to political boundaries. The same with the fumes; China's pollution affects OUR environment; it's not like China has a big shell around it that separates it from the rest of the world's environment.

RE: Clearly?
By jackedupandgoodtogo on 11/10/2008 12:41:18 PM , Rating: 1
It's interesting that you call this unsafe practice as an "opportunity". To me, being a slave isn't an "opportunity", or even a poor one, even though they get free food and lodging. But it's better than begging on the street, right? Would being a lab test subject for deadly diseases be considered an "opportunity" to the poor if they were paid well, but knew they'd die shortly, or suffer horrible physical consequences?

This is pure and simple greed and indifference to the suffering of people, exactly because it doesn't affect them. Anyone with a conscience would see that personal gain over other's suffering is not an "opportunity", no matter how much was offered. When people are poor, they do what they have to do to survive or to support others. It's called sacrifice, something the not-so-poor forget or never knew. It's not an "opportunity".

RE: Clearly?
By arazok on 11/10/2008 12:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
being a slave isn't an "opportunity"

A slave is forced to work for nothing. I believe these people are free to leave at any time, and are compensated very well (by their standards).

Would being a lab test subject for deadly diseases be considered an "opportunity" to the poor if they were paid well, but knew they'd die shortly, or suffer horrible physical consequences?

Possibly, yes. It would be up to me to weigh the pros and cons. So long as I understand what I’m getting into, it would be my choice. If I was poor, and I knew that this money could help send my child to school, so they could live a better life, then I might just do it.

RE: Clearly?
By MadMan007 on 11/10/2008 1:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't you know, profit > all. That's the capitalist way and the Chinese are just being the best capitalist they can! /sarcasm

RE: Clearly?
By cocoman on 11/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: Clearly?
By grenableu on 11/10/2008 5:53:58 PM , Rating: 2
but this stuff is killing them, so the choice shouldn’t be available to them.
So our government should not only play nanny to our own citizens now, but citizens in other countries also? Whatever happened to freedom? Eating red meat increases your chances of cancer also, should the US government ban Chinese from steak dinners too?

Personally if I had the choice between making 8 bucks a day taking apart cell phones, or making 50 cents working twice as long in a rice paddy, I think I'll take the former, even if it does mean a little increase in my risk of cancer.

RE: Clearly?
By chick0n on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Clearly?
By on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Clearly?
By arazok on 11/10/2008 12:57:13 PM , Rating: 5
You have repeatedly taken up positions to show yourself to be an ideologue and an idiot.

RE: Clearly?
By Reclaimer77 on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Clearly?
By arazok on 11/10/2008 6:43:44 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, try again.

RE: Clearly?
By kellehair on 11/10/2008 1:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
"Clearly tech trash is an epidemic of massive proportions"

That line jumped out at me as well. I never watch 60 Minutes but I happened to see this story as I was flipping around looking for more football. The conditions in that town were horrendous and it was very easy to have an emotional response to the situation. Emotions aside however it is hard to say this is a massive epidemic.

RE: Clearly?
By DarkElfa on 11/10/2008 1:41:56 PM , Rating: 3
My complaint here is that the article makes it seem that America is just dragging our waste over seas and dumping it on defenseless old china which is BS. China has companies which are obviously asking for or purchasing this discarded equipment and then improperly disposing of it. That would make it china's problem and China's fault. If McDonald's sells me a burger and I use it to smother my child, is it their fault for selling me the burger? The problem here is the corruption, poor oversight and regulation and draconian human rights ethics.

RE: Clearly?
By DarkElfa on 11/10/2008 1:46:06 PM , Rating: 3
...and for the record, china is no third world country, they just don't give three craps about the safety of their people. I guess when you have 3 times the population you need, that is your attitude. I'm not condoning it, just stating was appears to be an obvious conclusion.

RE: Clearly?
By BadAcid on 11/10/2008 5:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
I think by the very definition, China is 2nd world.

RE: Clearly?
By jhb116 on 11/10/2008 10:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention - I don't think they (60 Minutes) could prove that the entire dump was from US sources. There is probably a bunch of electronics waste from every industrialize county - including CHINA.

RE: Clearly?
By piroroadkill on 11/12/2008 3:36:23 AM , Rating: 1
Uh, no shit, I'm pretty sure it never said it was only US stuff. However if you look across the internet, you can see asset labels taken from PCs thrown into the piles of junk there, clearly showing US institutions.

Also, apparently up to 80% of it is imported, so yes, China does shit on itself, too, I don't think anybody was saying otherwise

RE: Clearly?
By littlebitstrouds on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Clearly?
By Samus on 11/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: Clearly?
By Pavelyoung on 11/11/2008 2:49:00 AM , Rating: 1
Why, in your view, is it the responsibility of the government to provide for everyone in the country? Shouldn't those people that don't have health insurance get a job and buy their insurance like the rest of us?

As far as China goes. Its a China problem, they are the ones buying this junk and they are the ones that should dispose of it properly. Just because they buy it from an American company doesnt mean you should hold that company responsible.

RE: Clearly?
By fibreoptik on 11/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Clearly?
By JediJeb on 11/11/2008 12:20:21 PM , Rating: 2
I read through the whole list of replies and agruments for this post and I saw good and bad points to both sides of the argument. What I did not see was a solution to the problem! Ok it is illegal to ship the waste overseas, so we keep it here. I want to know who here that posted is going to be the first to offer their back yard to be used as a storage space for the waste? Who here who is buying a new iPod is willing to add $20 to the cost to help recycle their old one in a responsible manner?

This is just like used tires used to be, now any time you buy an new tire, a disposal charge is added to cover the cost of recycling your old ones, same thing for used car batteries. Everyone wants the tech trash to go away, but noone wants to pay for it. The number of cell phone included in that list is just rediculous. Stop changing cell phones because you want what is new and pretty, and start changing them when they finally die or are no longer supported. Same with computers, TVs or any other type of electronics.

Everyone wants to talk about how bad this is, but guess what, WE are the cause of the problem. There would be no electronic waste to send overseas if we did not generate it. There are many simple changes that can be made in the way we live that would help reduce this problem, we just have to take it upon ourselves to do it.

RE: Clearly?
By winterspan on 11/11/2008 7:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
Did you even watch the 60 minutes video or the documentary from current.TV? There are THOUSANDS of people being negatively affected by this as determined FROM OBJECTIVE EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS BY A CHINESE LABORATORY!

As us apparent nearly every time you speak, your attitude towards humanity and our world is sickening! How dare you defend this horrible situation as "at least they are employed". Shame on you! Where do you get such a disgusting perspective?

I'd suggest you take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself why you are so cynical and indifferent to the plight of human suffering. You have a very dark soul...

Doesn't add up
By Spivonious on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Doesn't add up
By MadMan007 on 11/10/2008 11:54:20 AM , Rating: 2
I saw this piece and Executive Recycling got the contract with municipal and/or state governments partly based on the fact that they handle the recycling themselves and in the US. They also advertised their service as such. In any case the GAO sting operation proves they were willingly breaking the law since it is illegal to export CRTs and also against HK law to import them. 60 minutes should have listed the other companies or provided sources that list the other companies more readily.

I try to Freecycle any ancient gear I have but sometimes it just doesn't work out or the stuff is broken or too old so no one takes it. In that case I take it to an e-cycle place and despite assurances I'm sure some ends up in China.

RE: Doesn't add up
By othercents on 11/10/2008 12:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly... I have used Executive Recycle before and I don't plan on using them again, but there isn't any alternatives that can guarantee this stuff gets recycled here in the US. The government wants to require companies to recycle, but then doesn't provide a way to guarantee that the recycle companies are actually doing their jobs. For my office it is out of sight out of mind. We did our part, but the recycle company didn't.

Somewhere there needs to be a list of approved recycle companies that can show where their waste is going. If they receive 50 pounds then they need to show 50 pounds going somewhere as a recycled product.


RE: Doesn't add up
By tedrodai on 11/10/2008 12:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
Well, this was the quote from his business's website:

Your e-waste is recycled properly, right here in the U.S. - not simply dumped on somebody else."

There's no "all" within that comment, but they're obviously implying it to their customers, from a lack of specifying otherwise. You can get nitpicky if you want to, but the law doesn't really care whether or not you've ever lied about breaking it.

Also, he was referring to China, not his own company, when he made that comment you quoted, so that's not exactly giving himself a way out. He never implied that he was sending ANYTHING to china, legal or not.

So obviously they [[China]] don't have all of the right materials, the safety equipment to handle some of this material.

So, I don't see the same sensationalizing problem you do in this instance.

RE: Doesn't add up
By tedrodai on 11/10/2008 12:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well, heck. Maybe the law cares sometimes if you've lied about it. But that'll just get you deeper in the hole.

RE: Doesn't add up
By Expunge on 11/10/2008 3:32:28 PM , Rating: 1
Bah.. just buy some Carbon Credits from alGore and everything will be peachy.

All kidding aside, it's sad to see this kind of crap take place but unfortunately not unexpected. Creating new laws are not going to fix the problem, enforcing the ones we have already on the books can.

Unfortunately we have bigger problems to deal with like oh say the economy. We got to have people working so we can tax the shit out of them to pay for all these socialist plans in the works.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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