Electronic waste is a hot topic right now with some light being brought to the fact that many of the electronic devices we think we are recycling are turning up in large volumes in poor countries overseas. It is alarming to see the amount of e-waste that has been found in China, Africa, and Mexico to name a few. Below are a couple of videos that give a visual of the problems that are being caused by the massive amounts of e-waste being sent overseas to be discarded.
It is extremely disheartening to see the extremely dangerous position the people have to work and live in that have the misfortune of dissembling, sorting, and destroying our electronic waste. There is no question that the people who work with our e-waste are putting their health in jeopardy but it is also painfully obvious that our environment is suffering also. Images of dark orange and black plumes of smoke coming from burning piles of wires and metal components illustrates just how detrimental these practices are in every element. It will be very important for our society to find ways to ensure that the electronic products we “recycle” are actually being handled safely and are not contributing to manipulating and taking advantage of poor countries already dim situations.