• Fair Trade Exports, Fair Trade Recycling

    Environment, Environmental Design

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    The World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association (WR3A) was established in Middlebury, VT in 2004. The association brings together electronics recyclers in the USA with importers from Asia, Africa, and South America, to meet legitimate demands for used electronics without exporting "toxics along for the ride".

    WR3A members must be vetted to show they are removing and recycling junk material. They are matched to buyers overseas who are vetted to buy material. The organization forms a purchase order, brokers sales, and follows up with records of what was exported, what was received, what was broken accidentally, what was ok but they don't need more of, etc.

    We are not hysterical about "ewaste" and the word "toxic". Nor are we complacent about excuses for export of obsolete junk as "digital divide" or "donations to the poor". We think that if computer exports are outlawed, only outlaws will export computers. We think most USA companies are more motivated by contracts, trade, money and civil law than by "pledges" and "threats". International trade is a term like "weather", it is useless to be "for" or "against" the term. We want good people to make money meeting demand in the best possible way, and if they cheat, they lose the contract.

    Film of WR3A's approach is available on youtube and viddler.com, and the 2009 CES in Las Vegas promoted us in a 3 minute video between their Keynote Addresses. In the recycling industry, WR3A is know more for the membership applications it rejects than for the membership it advertises.

    Robin Ingenthron, founder, was a Peace Corps volunteer in the 1980s, director of a non-profit recycling company in the early 90s, director of a state regulatory recycling division in the late 90s, and an entrepreneur (CEO of www.retroworks.com) in the 2000s.

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