Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
China Earth

The Chinese Town Where Old Christmas Lights Go 117

Posted by samzenpus
from the end-of-the-line dept.
retroworks writes "Shanghai based reporter Adam Minter visits where recycled Christmas Tree lighting goes in China. Visiting Shijao, the town known as the Mecca for Christmas tree light recycling, he finds good news. The recycling practices in China have really cleaned up. Plastic casings, which were once burned, are now recycled into shoe soles in a wet process. Minter concludes that even if you try to recycle your wire in the U.S., the special equipment and processes for Christmas light recycling have been perfected in China 'to the benefit of the environment, and pocketbooks, in both countries.'"

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Chinese Town Where Old Christmas Lights Go

Comments Filter:
  • Re:BAh humbug (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Monday December 26, 2011 @02:19AM (#38492452) Homepage Journal
    Not really. Ever hear of RoHS? [wikipedia.org]

    That means that every toy you buy has a planned obsolescence, and that it will be less harmful for Chinese villagers to wade through your garbage.

    Everybody wins! Corporations get to sell you the same thing every 2 years, Chinese peasants get cancer later in age, and, well, that's it. But keep buying that crap - you are the pillar of the American economy.
  • by Ostracus (1354233) on Monday December 26, 2011 @02:22AM (#38492468) Journal

    Indeed, if there's a weak environmental link in the chain, it's the American consumers who start it by buying tens of millions of pounds of Christmas tree lights every year, only to throw them into the recycle bin, guilt free, when a bulb breaks. But Li, for one, doesn't mind: that waste is the raw material for his green business.

    The real story is that Americans are so wasteful that they'll throw away a string of lights for the sake of one bulb.

    BTW wonder how their process will deal with LED lights?

  • Re:Bull (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Penguinshit (591885) on Monday December 26, 2011 @02:23AM (#38492472) Homepage Journal
    Seems to me to be more about capturing cheap resources for cheap products that will themselves end up in a burn or landfill. It's just delaying the inevitable.
  • Re:BAh humbug (Score:4, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Monday December 26, 2011 @02:30AM (#38492490)

    Ever hear of RoHS?

    While I'm sure there's a US equivalent, this is an EU directive. And while I've made the occasionally entreaty for Europeans to pay for our (US's) boondoggles, they aren't putting out. For some reason, it isn't going the other way either.

  • by robbak (775424) on Monday December 26, 2011 @02:43AM (#38492538) Homepage

    Try explaining to your average consumer just how you find exactly which bulb has failed. Many of these things use globes in series, for those who do not know.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Monday December 26, 2011 @07:58AM (#38493390) Homepage

    WTF does America do anymore? I mean really?

    It's a common rhetorical, but it doesn't really work, does it?

    We're near the largest in:
    Auto manufacturing, aviation manufacturing, nautical manufacturing, space manufacturing, and high tech manufacturing. Grain production, dairy production, meat production, fruit production, and vegetable production. Software, movies, books, websites, music, and television. That's off the top of my head.

    Or, to put it slightly differently, we are ninth in the world in GDP per capita, number one in the world in GDP, and our GDP is increasing both absolute and per-capita. We do everything, and we're pretty darned good at it, too. The only remotely plausible sense in which we are not good at everything is in the sense that we are no longer laughably far out in front of everyone else like we were 40 years ago.

    Now, I think we should be trying to be laughably far out in front of everyone else. I even think we have the potential to do so and I have some solid data on a few key points to back up my belief. But that doesn't mean we are doing poorly yet -- we have a long way left to fall, even at our current lackluster rate of climb.

  • by Type44Q (1233630) on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:28AM (#38493784)

    Auto manufacturing, aviation manufacturing, nautical manufacturing, space manufacturing, and high tech manufacturing. Grain production, dairy production, meat production, fruit production, and vegetable production. Software, movies, books, websites, music, and television.

    And it all sucks. Yes, I generalize... but my point is valid:

    Our automobiles are a total and outright embarrassment.

    We're making evolutionary (rather than revolutionary) advances in aviation (if you call over-complicating them an advance - fly by wire, anyone?) but who's going to buy them, who wouldn't already be manufacturing their own?

    Nautical manufacturing? For, pleasure boats? No; that chapter is clearly coming to a close as there'll soon be no middle class left to sustain that. Commercial fishing? Right! Cargo freighters and oil tankers? Perhaps for a little longer, but it's hardly a growth industry; the days of cheap goods and affordable oil (subsidized by the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency) are coming to an end and anyone with a brain cell can see that.

    Our food production? Sure... if you call that pesticide-ridden, nutritionally-devoid, utterly-without-flavor sludge "food," then you're absolutely right.

    Books, movies, software? Pfft. How much do you think those "industries" are actually contributing to this country (as opposed to the corporate coffers conveniently located in tax shelters?)

    No, we're fucked... and anyone who says otherwise is either a total moron or has an agenda.

The major difference between bonds and bond traders is that the bonds will eventually mature.

Working...