The world’s largest e-waste dump is the part of the world where all used old electronic gadgets including your phones are dump with the false claim that they are taken for recycling. Ghana is the world’s largest e-waste dump around the world. Over 200,000 tons of e-waste are brought into the country each year.
Normally when your electronics get old or damaged we run to the market to change it right? But have we for once asked where these phones are taken to. Are they really sending them overseas for recycling as claimed? Read below and see what actually happens to your old electronics.
Oftentimes, your electronics aren’t actually recycled in the United states. Instead they are shipped overseas to countries in Asia and Africa, potentially polluting environments thousands of miles away.
Why do recyclers send your stuff on such a journey?
It is hard for recyclers to make a profit in the U.S., so they move your old stuff instead. Recyclers ship millions of of pounds of electronics overseas a year. Low-paid sometimes undocumented workers are often left to the task of dismantling them under dangerous conditions.
40% of electronic recyclers in the U.S. send the devices they receive to junkyards overseas. That is according to a watchdog group called Basel Action Network(BAN). Last year, the group attached GPS trackers to old electronics to see where they ended up.
Companies that claim to recycle your electronics just throw them in shipping containers headed to a part of Hong Kong called “The New Territories.” There, some workers are paid to disassemble your old devices but many gadgets end up in the landfills.
What these recyclers are doing is illegal. The Basel Convention, an international treaty from 1989, forbids countries from dumping electronics overseas. It still happens in part because the EPA and other organisations don’t have the resources to stop it.