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Earth Technology

Agbogbloshie: The World's Largest e-Waste Dump 117

Posted by samzenpus
from the put-that-anywhere dept.
kc123 writes "Photographer Kevin McElvaney documents Agbogbloshie, a former wetland in Accra, Ghana, which is home to the world's largest e-waste dumping site. Boys and young men smash devices to get to the metals, especially copper. Injuries, such as burns, untreated wounds, eye damage, lung and back problems, go hand in hand with chronic nausea, anorexia, debilitating headaches and respiratory problems. Most workers die from cancer in their 20s."
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Agbogbloshie: The World's Largest e-Waste Dump

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  • by Burdell (228580) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:34PM (#46365093)

    False [bloombergview.com]. Yet another endlessly repeated "truth" based on invalid or non-existent studies.

  • This is a Hoax (Score:5, Informative)

    by retroworks (652802) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:47PM (#46365135) Homepage Journal

    - Cities in Africa have had TVs for decades, generate their own "e-waste". Nigeria had 6.9M households with TV in 2007 (World Bank)

    - According to the UN, the 6B people in "emerging markets" generate far more e-waste, and far more ewaste trade, than OECD nations.

    - African importers have no financial interest in paying to import junk.

    - UNEP studies of seized "e-waste" in Lagos and Accra found 91% reuse and repair, better than brand new sales.

    - The Western Accuser (BAN.org) earns money from "certifying" that recyclers don't export, has a $$ interest in the accusations

    The Western Accuser admits to fabricating the statistics about 80% e-waste exports. They lied and admit they lied. http://retroworks.blogspot.com... [blogspot.com]

    These stories belittle the techs in Africa who tinker and repair, for financial gain among manufacturers intent on "planned obsolescence". "Parasites of the poor" is the label for these stories in Africa.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:58PM (#46365173)

    Compare the photos in the Slashdot submission to these http://shanghaiscrap.com/2012/... [shanghaiscrap.com]

    And none of the TVs in this photo were imported from western nations. None of them. So, of the 1% of these shown in TFA, how many were actually imported? Or is the point to think about the sad Negro children paid $1 to stand on the husks of TVs thrown out by African cities?

  • Worst of the bunch (Score:5, Informative)

    by Blaskowicz (634489) on Friday February 28, 2014 @12:02AM (#46365187)

    This is what you come upon when you go filming the poor amongst the poor. Yet again a relatively small are is shown, this time around the RT monitor stands. It looks like a problem of law enforcement, lack of recycling infrastructure for terminal waste and lack of employment for these people.
    Don't fall for e-waste scare again. Actual numbers tell that the vast majority of it is recycled and reused. This was covered already but here's one witness example :
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/... [usatoday.com]

    "A handful of countries in the developed world don't like the ban," Puckett said. "Some countries have ratified the Basel Convention but don't agree to the ban."

    Ingenthron disagrees with the definition of electronic equipment exported for repair as hazardous. He said those exports account for about 8% of the 13 million pounds Good Point processes, and provide a livelihood for Third World entrepreneurs.

    Wahab Mohammed, 36, of Accra, Ghana, relies on Good Point to provide an inventory of used computers and more for his business in Ghana.

    "I buy TVs, computers, speakers, amplifiers and stereos," Wahab said last month as he roamed the maze of shrink-wrapped mountains of equipment at Good Point. "When I take them back I have people who work for me. We resell everything, 80% to 90% we're able to make it work."

    Wahab tries to make the pilgrimage to Good Point every three or four months, splitting his time between Middlebury and Accra. He's planning to open a recycling plant in Ghana.

    "In Africa laptops cost more than here brand new," Wahab said. "My customers appreciate me bringing in used laptops they're able to buy for $100. I still make money."

    In fact what you see in TFA is not our waste, but Ghanans's waste. The news is they're dumping CRT PC monitors (looks like 17 inchers), probably because they're too expensive to run, and some of them may just have failed.
    Africans don't want to buy our discarded CRTs these days and no goodwill organisation will pay for the shipping either.

    I would also like to know what happens to TFA's pile of five PC on the moped. "PCs and electronic devices that look in reasonable condition are sold untested in Accra". Well three are AT, so a bit crap (but may contain hard drives, etc., and may serve some limited use or as thin clients), two are ATX and so are USB, can do MP3 playback, file transfers to from USB flash drives or cell phones, word processing or accounting ; probably divx playback (the bottom one is color-coded, thus powerful) . Just don't turn it on often.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Friday February 28, 2014 @12:57AM (#46365357) Homepage

    The United States International Trade Commission, "the agency determines the impact of imports on U.S. industries", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org], when they asked companies for what they thought for marketing purpose how much waste they dump in foreign markets, those companies replied we do not dump waste, we buy waste disposal services at world competitive rates and what those waste disposal services according to the paper work they receive, they dispose of it according to law in the countries where it is dumped 'er' recycled.

    When you sell it to a disposal company and they dump it in foreign markets you are dumping it in foreign market forget the PR=B$ especially from a government department that is just chock a block full of political appointees and is lead around by the nose by US corporate political campaign donors. From them you will get the "truth" but most definitely not the truth.

  • Re:This is a Hoax (Score:5, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Friday February 28, 2014 @04:49AM (#46365917) Homepage

    The third world is undoubtedly bad, but the only way we can get them to clean up is if we clean ourselves up first. If we create products that are easier to recycle and then develop disposal systems that avoid dumping them poorer nations will soon join in because there is money to be made. We treat waste like a problem we have to pay to make go away, where as these guys have already figured out that it can be profitable if you don't care about health and safety.

    Additionally the US is doing quite badly compared to Europe. Were are your restrictions on exporting to places that dump, or your equivalent of RoHS? The bar has been set.

  • by advid.net (595837) <slashdot@adv i d . net> on Friday February 28, 2014 @05:07AM (#46365961) Journal

    Quoting previous articles:

    In Pictures: Ghana's e-waste magnet [aljazeera.com]
    E-waste at the Agbogbloshie dumpsite near Accra has created a socio-economic and environmental disaster.
    Kevin McElvaney, 12 Feb 2014

    Inside Ghana's electronic wasteland [aljazeera.com]
    Dangerous practice of burning electronic waste to extract metals could be made safely obsolete.
    Chris Stein, 02 Nov 2013

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