Why doesn’t this issue go away?  I don’t know why this issue doesn’t go away.

I guess it doesn’t go away because:  (1) People want to make money, (2) Other people want to save money, (3) Some people who want to make money will tell lies to do that, (4) Some people who want to save money will believe lies to do that.

An easy way to make money is to collect old computers and monitors and TVs and printers and such, throw them in a shipping container, and sell them to a broker.  There are brokers who will pay decent money for those things.

If you have old computers and monitors and TVs and printers and such to get rid of, an easy way to save money is to work with one of those collector types.  They will take your stuff away for free.

But here’s the issue:  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151078070938737.435556.211735218736&type=3

If you put old computers and monitors and TVs and printers and such into a shipping container and sell them to a broker, they go to places like these.  They do not go to real recyclers.  They go to places where desperately poor people will knock them apart and burn them up to scrape out the value in metals and plastics, and toss the rest into a pile or a ditch.  Other people, the brokers and such, will make some real money from their labor; the desperately poor people will still be desperately poor, and living in a really gross, polluted, poisonous environment.

If you collect old computers and monitors and TVs and printers and such, put them in a container, and sell them to a broker to be “recycled”, you know this is happening.

But your clients, the people from whom you are collecting old computers and monitors and TVs and printers and such, they do not want this.  They do not want their old electronics to go to places like this.  They want them recycled for real, not scavenged at the expense of desperately poor people.

So if you want them to be your clients, you have to lie.  You have to tell them that their electronics are being recycled responsibly.  That way, you can collect used electronics and make some money.

If you’re the client, you have old computers and monitors and TVs and printers and such, you need to get rid of them, you want them recycled, and you want to save money.  One guy comes to your office and tells you he’ll take them away for free and get them recycled “responsibly.”  Another guy comes to your office and tells you it’s going to cost you to get them recycled “responsibly”.  If you want to save money, all you have to do is believe both of these guys and take the best deal.

But there’s that damn issue: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151078070938737.435556.211735218736&type=3.

That’s where the “best deal” ends up.  If the guy takes your old electronics for free, he’s making his money selling them to a broker, and the broker is part of a chain that ends up here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151078070938737.435556.211735218736&type=3.  He may cherry pick some of your electronics and resell them on Ebay or to another broker, and God only knows where they end up after that, or, for that matter, where your data ends up.  It’s not just me or IRN who says that, it’s hundreds of independent reports backed up by thousands of photos and video documentation and shipping records.

If you really recycle responsibly, it costs money.  LCDs contain mercury; CRTs contain lead; rechargeable batteries contain heavy metals.  You have to take used electronics apart carefully and under controlled conditions to recover those things.  It costs money.  There’s a fraction of old electronics that can’t be recycled, and those need to be disposed of in a real landfill.  That costs money.  If you want to get your old electronics recycled responsibly, it costs money.

But against all the evidence, you can choose to believe different.  You can choose to believe the guy who comes to your office and tells you he’ll take your old electronics for free and recycle them “responsibly.”  You can do that; lots of people do.  It’s called “willing suspension of disbelief.”  It will save you some money.

But it’s a lie, and you’re choosing to believe a lie.  Take a look at: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151078070938737.435556.211735218736&type=3.Image  That’s the truth about “free, responsible” “recycling” of used electronics.

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