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If someone says that electronic waste recycling can benefit our national defense system, would you be surprised? You must be! But guess what? It definitely can!
Electronic recycling goes beyond just the environment and has all the potential to protect the U.S defense system from the grave risks posed by failure-prone counterfeit E-parts. The counterfeit parts have permeated the defense supply chain of U.S, so building up the e-waste recycling program might rein in counterfeit electronic parts.
It is no surprise that E-waste is a major “feedstock” for counterfeit electronic components. These counterfeits tap the international e-waste flow to source the goods. This is how the process of using e-waste in counterfeit products manufacturing goes:
• Across the Pacific Ocean, e-waste is shipped by the boats, and smuggled into China which is the epicenter of counterfeiting activities.
• The e-waste is pulled apart by the workers by hand mostly in the dump sites or backyards.
• These workers heat the e-waste over open fires to let go off the electronic components from the circuit boards.
• The parts are then dumped for sorting on the sidewalks.
• The components are either washed in a river or left outside in the rain.
• Once the components are dry, they are shipped to the larger facilities set up for counterfeiting.
Electronic waste recycling is the only solution here!
The techniques these counterfeiting facilities use to make products, also make the already unreliable components even less so. For instance, used parts are mostly acid washed or sanded to remove product ids and recoated to conceal the sham.
The shared impact of these reprocessing methods is to give rise to the risk posed by unknowing dependency on bogus components.
During 2009 and 2010, about one million counterfeit electronic projects were spotted in the critical defense system that ranged from aircrafts and submarines, to advanced missile systems and thermal weapons. Think how perilous it is to have a $12 million defense interceptor becoming unwarranted because of a $2 counterfeit part.
No matter how ordinary this counterfeiting appears, the truth is, our defense system is substantially hit by it. So, it’s fair to say that taking e-waste recycling for granted is equivalent to taking our own defense system lightly! Think about it!