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Tag Archives: e-waste

by Andrew McCornell from his “Rubbish Dump 2.0” project

“The suburb of Agbogbloshie in Ghana’s capital, Accra, has in recent years become a dumping ground for computers and electronic waste from Europe and the US. Hundreds of tons of e-waste end up here every month as countries in the West attempt to unload their ever increasing stockpiles of toxic junk. Of the 20 to 50 million tons of electronics discarded each year 70% will end up in poor nations, and in the EU alone 6.6 million tons of e-waste are unaccounted for every year.
Increasingly this e-waste is findeng it’s way to West Africa and countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Traders bypass international laws by labeling the equipment as second-hand goods or charity donations, but, in reality as much as 80% of the computers sent to Ghana are broken or obsolete. their final resting place is Agbogbloshie dump where they are broken apart, mostly by children, to salvage the copper, hard drives and other components that can be sold on.
The disposal of electronic goods in the West is a costly affair and must be done in an environmentally responsible manner, however in places like Ghana there are no such regulations and as such toxic metals like lead, beryllium, cadmium and mercury are continiously being released causing untold damage to human health and the environment”.

– Andrew McCornell

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Trashware: image of e-waste and its effects by phauly.

by Paolo Massa from his flickr

“Guiyu is a city in China where most of the computers and electronical appliances dumped from the so-called “first world” (better called “first polluter”?) end up”

– Paolo Massa

Keyboard Mountain by stefan irvine.

by Stefan Irvine from his flickr
“This photo story depicts a village in Southern China called Guiyu whose local economy is entirely devoted to the practice of recycling electronic waste from the developed world. People from all over China come here to scavenge for valuable metals and components from discarded computers, televisions and phones, which are shipped from countries such as the United States, Singapore and Hong Kong. Old and unwanted electronic waste might contain traces of gold, silver and other metals, which might have considerable value when recycled. All of this scavenging is done in a very low-tech manner; with hammers and screwdrivers. Acid is applied to burn off chips from circuit boards and the toxic fumes goes straight into the atmosphere. Unwanted leftovers are dumped in the river or fields. The environmental catastrophe is impossible to measure with no drinking water available (fresh water has to be shipped in) and with air so toxic, it hurts the throat and lungs just to breathe”
– Stefan Irvine
Fire maker by rvibek.
by Vibek Raj Maurya
“Agbogbloshie, popularly known as Scrap Market, is a graveyard for obsolete electronic and mechanical equipment in Accra. There is a huge market for the used second hand electronics – computer, television, refrigerator and other home appliances in Accra. Bulk of these goods are shipped from UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Holland and other European countries. At the end of life, most of them are brought here for the metal extraction using primitive methods”
– Vibek Raj Maurya
from his flickr
“The human and its e-waste. It’s like taking an electronic shit”

– Dieter Orens