Junkyard Planet author starts new recycling trip to kick off 'Second Hand'

United States: 'Electronics recyclers in Europe and the US hurt by the commodity downturn are learning to sell parts recovered from old devices - and even whole units,' says Adam Minter, author of 'Junkyard Planet' and Asia correspondent for Recycling International. He argues that recycling products isn't always the best option from an environmental or economical point of view, thus sparking the idea to write a new book, titled 'Second Hand'.

For recyclers, the option to repair or reuse electronics and many other products was obviously available already, but was never that attractive because of the high commodity prices, Minter tells Recycling International. ‘They never bothered to look closely at alternatives to recycling, now that’s clearly changed,’ he notes.

‘The irony is that developing world recyclers had been taking this approach for two decades, at least. In China, for example, the value of electronic scrap has always been directly related to its re-use value, and electronics recyclers have always pulled parts and whole units for the second hand market before recycling,’ Minter observes.

‘So in that sense, there's quite a bit that so-called advanced recyclers in the developed world have to learn from China and other developing world recyclers,’ the writer points out.

For the new book, he intends to ‘dive deep’ into the world of second hand clothes, furniture, cars, and even collectibles. Minter adds: ‘The market is wider than most people realise. For example, there's a market in Kuala Lumpur that specializes in selling "pre-loved" goods from Japan.’

Like Junkyard Planet, the new title will have an international scope; providing updates from West Africa, China, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, plus the United States – and also Europe.

Editor's Tip: Africa's E-scrap Story - A New Narrative by Adam Minter


Adam Minter: new book in the works to continue the JunkYard Planet journey

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