I watched a documentary film on BBC Inside Out program about how few recycling companies from Europe and the USA instead of recycling the waste, send them all to the poor country like Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil, China, and few more developing poor countries.
The ever-growing demand for the latest fashionable mobile phone, flat screen TV or super-fast computer creates ever larger amounts of obsolete electronics that are often laden with toxic chemicals like lead, mercury and brominated flame retardants. Rather than being safely recycled, much of this e-waste gets dumped in developing countries.
In the yards, unprotected workers, many of them children, dismantle computers and TVs with little more then stones in search of metals that can be sold. The remaining plastic, cables and casing is either burnt or simply dumped.
Containers filled with old and often broken computers, monitors and TVs - from brands including Philips, Canon, Dell, Microsoft, Nokia, Siemens and Sony - arrive in Ghana from Germany, Korea, Switzerland and the Netherlands under the false label of "second-hand goods". Exporting e-waste from Europe is illegal but exporting old electronics for 'reuse' allows unscrupulous traders to profit from dumping old electronics in Ghana. The majority of the containers' contents end up in Ghana's scrap yards to be crushed and burned by unprotected workers. Some traders report that to get a shipping container with a few working computers they must accept broken junk like old screens in the same container from exporters in developed countries.
One of UK companies for exporting the digital trash is Worldwide Biorecyclables Ltd. Another company is Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).
Poisoning the poor – Electronic Waste in Ghana
Electronic Waste in Ghana
Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground -1
Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground -2
Britain dumping Toxic Waste in Ghana
Buy it, Use it, Break it, Junk it, it's Toxic
Blood, Sweat and Luxuries