Fair Trade Recycling

Exports of "e-Waste" to emerging nations have been criticized or made illegal in some cases, because of toxic and unfair processes documented in some countries. At the same time, repair and reuse of electronics is very high, and considered a very good job. Fair Trade Recycling is a movement started in Middlebury, Vermont, to cross train overseas technicians to properly recycle material they cannot repair, and pay them with better priced goods, like monitors and laptops and computers, which they CAN repair. Our test sight in Sonora, Mexico, has been studied by four universities who just won a $479,000 research grant to evaluate how fair trade recycling, safe manual disassembly, and "take back" at the point of reuse sales, might work in Africa, Asia and South America. A "Vermont Fair Trade Recycling Summit" will be held at Middlebury College on April 16, a meeting of policy makers, regulators, overseas importers, electronic recyclers, and universities to discuss the "fair trade" margin between boycotting the poor, or sending them "toxics along for the ride."

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