You are probably familiar with the fact that a large majority of computers and electronic components are either produced or assembled in China. You can now close the circle: about 70 percent of the 50 million tons of electronic waste produced globally each year is dumped in China, with most of the rest going to India and poor African nations.
As usual, there is a strong economic rationale for this round-tripping: for the West, where safety rules drive up the cost of disposal, it’s as much as 10 times cheaper to export the waste to developing countries.
A large part of the old computer parts, video games, computer screens, cell phones and electronics of all kinds actually ends up in Guiyu where the e-waste industry employs an estimated 150,000 people – mostly migrant workers. Experts estimate that more than 90% ends up in dumps that observe no environmental standards.
What a waste!
P.S.: Watch also the documentary e-dump made by Michael Zhao