We are happy to announce that GoodElectronics has added a new member to its network. A short description about him and his interest for e-waste follows.

About John-Michael

John-Michael was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and in the last five years he has found it hard to stay in the same city as he has lived in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, St. John’s, El Salvador, Israel and the West Bank. John-Michael is currently in the second year of a PhD program in the Geography department at Memorial University where, under the supervision of Dr. Josh Lepawsky and Dr. Yaakov Garb he is studying what an e-waste “fair trade” could mean in a longstanding informal e-waste industry between Israel and the West Bank – a region representing a microcosm of the global flow of e-waste from “developed” to “developing” countries.

John-Michael became interested in trans-border flows of e-waste during an internship with Dr. Garb where he spent several months living in an informal e-waste recycling industry in the West Bank, in a region where imported e-waste has provided a much needed source of livelihood, yet informal “recycling” processes have created significant negative environmental and health effects.

John-Michael’s research

John-Michael began researching trans-border e-waste movement during an MSc at McGill University where, using a mixed methodology of geo-spatial analysis, water and soil sampling, quantitative/qualitative interviews, and community participation uncovered the economic and environmental consequences resulting from the bulk of Israeli e-waste being collected and recycled by Palestinians in the West Bank.

John-Michael has continued this research project into a PhD program at Memorial University where he is now working to implement a customized participatory action research method to work with members of the ‘e-waste community’ as co-researchers to work towards defining what an ‘e-waste fair trad” between Israel and the West Bank means, and by focusing on the ‘assets’ in the community, rather than the ‘needs’, they will design and implement various actions or projects that will work to achieve a community defined ‘e-waste fair trade’.

Outside of his work in Israel and Palestine, John-Michael is also actively studying trans-border e-waste flows and informal e-waste management in Mexico and Central America.