Thrown Out In Africa

For decades corrupt and unscrupulous waste disposal practices have targeted African countries for toxic dumping. Now the enormous surge in the production of e-waste is magnifying this problem.

"All down the West Africa coast, ships registered in America and Europe unload containers filled with old computers, slops, and used medical equipment. Scrap merchants, corrupt politicians and underpaid civil servants take charge of this rubbish and, for a few dollars, will dump them off coastlines and on landfill sites.

Throughout the 1980s, Africa was Europe's most popular dumping ground, with radioactive waste and toxic chemicals foisted on landowners. And now, there is a new threat - the dumping of electronic waste, or e-waste: unwanted mobile phones, computers and printers, which contain cadmium, lead, mercury and other poisons. More than 20 million computers become obsolete in America alone each year. As Western technology becomes cheaper and the latest machine comes to be regarded as a disposable fashion statement, this dumping will only intensify."

Full Story: Toxic shock: How Western rubbish is destroying Africa


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