Junkyard Planet mobi ☆ Hardcover

text µ Junkyard Planet Ï Adam Minter

Junkyard PlanetOds aren’t prettyWith unmatched access to and insight on the junk trade and the explanatory gifts and an eye for detail worthy of a John McPhee or William Langewiesche Minter traces the export of America’s recyclables and the massive profits that China and other rising nations earn from it What emerges is an engaging colorful and sometimes troubling tale of consumption innovation and the ascent of a developing world that recognizes value where Americans don’t Junkyard Planet reveals that we might need to learn a smarter way to take out the tra My first real job was working for IBM and refurbishing computers I did that up to 2001 Even then I struggled with how we could make money refurbishing computers in high wage countries I found this book fascinating Not only was it a good overview of the industry it also showed how an industry and commodity markets work in global trade better than anything I have read previously It also has the vignette and story style of Rose George book but in an area that I really wanted to know Globalization – scrapping and recycling follow the local labor wages In the early 1900s recyling was big business in the USA America imported scrap from Europe to feed our industrial growth – old railroad stock sent to America Scrap rags for our paper mills Initially this was Eastern European immigrants and Jews The author's family ran a scrap yard in the Midwest Now it is too expensive in WE NA and Japan to sort most waste and it is sold in bulk to Asia In the late 1990s Tiawan plants move to China and then to the interior areas Malasia plants relocate to Indonesia Why is China leading in import of waste and not India? Because there all the empty shipping containers returning to China and China needs materials If India had a stronger export market and demand for raw materials the scrap would flow there The scrap for India comes from the middle east – in the empty shipping containers of Mangoes and other food from India While wages are a big driver demand and shipping cost are also key drivers of this industryBreaking motors – Motors are filled with copper wire Back breaking labor to break it apart but in China middle age women do it Hammers chisels pliers High skilled job At one time Henry Ford set up a reverse assembly line to take apart his cars Never could do it profitably even in the 1920s – too much labor involved Reduce reuse recycle – Main point of the book is if you hate the environmental issues of waste just ”buy less crap” Because economics is going to do the rest As people become richer re use becomes less possible people want new even lower middle class in Africa won’t buy a mobile phone that does not have 3G After product re use is component re use No one wants that old mobile phone but if you get enough processors together you can sell to a toy manufacturer Then there is the recycle – metal plastic paperCommodity Markets – Overlaying the whole industry is the global commodity markets It moves dramatically The rise of Asia is just one example But the global recession in 2008 had markets drop 40% Huge swings But commodity markets are not all demand side changes in technology either for mining of new materials or recycling can radically change the market One example an American in 1930s was sorting mill scrap the fillings off iron production for re use It was awful work 125 per ton sorted Then a metallurgist found a new use for that scrap and could make a fortune selling his product The price of mill scrap went up 100 fold And people started mining landfills for the materialAmerican Cars – Outside of Henry Fords dissembly line cars were recycled profitably in the USA until the early 1960s – Labor costs went up and American’s did want to break motors for a living The only way to remove all the non metal parts was to burn the car – which then caused too much air pollution Even bigger was that steel mills needed higher uality control – 1% of copper significantly weakens steel So it was no longer profitable to recycle cars and no one would take them In 1969 70000 cars were abandon in NYC Over 20 million across the country Innovation – Long article on the development of the car shredder Based the number of cars that could no longer be recycled profitably lead to this innovation Recyclers were already shredding tin cans to help remove the linings So just a bigger shredder for cars? The first unit in 1958 was 1200’ long and used surplus motors from navy ships Once it was know in the industry others perfected it Now those that copied that original concept are trying to keep the Chinese from stealing their designs But the car shredder solved the issue of 40 million abandoned cars dumped in the USA And the Asia demand for steel in the late 1990s finally had the USA caught up with that 30 year backlog The Author toured one USA company Omnisource They have a car shredder Car shredding really only recycles the steel content But what do to with the rest? There is still valuable cooper and zinc and tin in the remainder They are able to sort this It even can reclaim the loose change in the car 167 per car 20 million for the 14 million cars scrapped every yearChina – There is one city in China that is the e waste capital Guiyu And there is another that is the plastic recycling capital Wen’an Both are dirty polluted places China is working to clean up but also realizes it needs these places to feed their industries One very interesting item in the book is how the author comes back to places to see improvement As Chinese cities get richer they improve their most polluting industries or the industries move to the poorer areas of China As Western environmental groups push on the Chinese and other developing countries the locals really don't care about ewaste Their bigger issues are with getting food and putting their kids through school ewaste is a first world concern It is an incredible dance between wages commodity demand technologies and environmental concerns that drive this industry But it really is just economics supply and demand that the author brings to together in stories of his many friends in the global scrap market

Adam Minter Ï Junkyard Planet reader

Cessing a jumbo jet’s worth of recyclable trash every day Along the way we meet an unforgettable cast of characters who've figured out how to build fortunes from what we throw away Leonard Fritz a young boy grubbing in Detroit's city dumps in the 1930s; Johnson Zeng a former plastics engineer roaming America in search of scrap; and Homer Lai an unassuming barber turned scrap titan in ingyuan China Junkyard Planet reveals how “going green” usually means making money and why that’s often the most sustainable choice even when the recycling meth Reduce Reuse If the first two are not an option then recycle Interesting story of where everything goes back to China for the most part I don't why but recycling fascinates me

kindle Junkyard Planet

Junkyard Planet mobi ☆ Hardcover º [Reading] ➶ Junkyard Planet Author Adam Minter – Dogsalonbristol.co.uk When you drop your Diet Coke can or yesterday’s newspaper in the recycling bin where does it go? Probably halfway around the world to people and places that clean up what you don’t want and turn i When you drop your Diet CWhen you drop your Diet Coke can or yesterday’s newspaper in the recycling bin where does it go? Probably halfway around the world to people and places that clean up what you don’t want and turn it into something you can’t wait to buy In Junkyard Planet Adam Minter veteran journalist and son of an American junkyard owner travels deeply into a vast often hidden multibillion dollar industry that’s transforming our economy and environmentMinter takes us from back alley Chinese computer recycling operations to high tech facilities capable of pro I once encountered a pair of supermarket clerks unloading cases of bottled water from their pallet jack to the shelves where the water awaits the public and I commented to the pair that they must have to put out new cases fairly often like once a week or so The pair gave me a look and said they bring out new cases three to four times a day Astonishingly so it is with that unsightly pile of scrap facing the reader of Junkyard Planet Adam Minter is not out to convince you that there’s a problem to be solved one that needs your attention Far from it in fact that seemingly problematic pile of scrap is as transient as Wal Mart’s cases of water; here today and gone next week broken up and distributed across the globe where various classes of materials are put to use by an astonishing array of specialists and spur further development in less industrial countriesAdam Minter is uniuely ualified for a book of this sort; he grew up in a scrapyard family but left the family trade to pursue a career in journalism – and followed that calling to China where he lived for several years He opens with a history of scrapyard recycling in the United States one that long predates the environmental movement of the 1970s Early Americans had a far better motivator for recycling than idealism they had need Prior to the maturation of industrial capitalism manufactured goods were preciously expensive; they were diligently preserved repaired or put to some other use once they were beyond mending For a full popular history of how Americans went from reusing everything to throwing everything away see Susan Strasser’s Waste and Want Sorting these goods and reducing them into re usable elements was labor intensive work though and as the cost of labor grew in the developed world the chief advantage of producing with recycled materials over new ones — cost – disappeared Scrapping thus became of an export business with China as the main buyerThose who don’t know scrap may view the export of recyclables to Asia and elsewhere as one of privilege — the western world using China as its dump But the Chinese are buying scrap not being paid a fee to take it away They want it — in fact members of Chinese firms travel constantly from scrapyard to scrapyard looking for specific categories of materials to send back home There what the average American consumer views as rubbish is transformed into infrastructure and skyscrapers or even better – into new consumer goods There’s an entire global trade in this stuff the oil rich gulf states have a similar relationship with India where it’s cheaper for them to ship rather than China The United States sends some scrap to India but it’s generally cheaper to send it China’s way given the constant cargo traffic; ships are able to incorporate scrap deliveries into their backhauls South America and Africa too participateWhat makes China special for this is not just its cheap labor but the fact that it has a rapacious hunger for scrap to fuel its own growth China’s people have not yet lost the use it up wear it out mentality that was chucked into the US’s landfills somewhere around the 1950s in cities people actively bargain for and repurpose refuse so that whatever goes in China’s own landfills or incinerators is truly trash There are also burgeoning markets for simply reusing goods which arrive from the United States an old CRT monitor is far valuable when resold as part of a used computer setup to a farmer just trying to learn one than as scrap While some materials are melted down into their constituent parts electronics are likely to be mined for their processors and suchThough a scrap man Minter doesn’t shy away from the downsides of China’s headlong embrace of recycling everything it can find a use for especially plastics recycling The poor city which does the bulk of China’s plastic processing can boast of lung and circulatory diseases afflicting 80% of the population Over the years China’s ruling power has gotten picky about the kinds of scrap it will accept however and Minter is optimistic that the future of recycling in China will grow cleanerJunkyard Planet is a fascinating look at a market which I suspect few are aware of it and while it wears a little repetitive ultimately it left me feelingwell a little delighted Despite my hostility toward consumerism in general I genuinely love and admire trade’s way of bringing people together and Junkyard Planet demonstrates superbly how even what we throw away conjoins the prosperity of each nation on its neighbor The reader isn’t uite off the hook however if you want your goods to participate in this glorious global scrap trade you have to at least make an effort to recycle or get them to the scrapmen to begin with

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