Abandoning e-waste is easy; each week we try to encourage our blog readers to recycle their old gadgets responsibly.
Unfortunately, recycling isn’t just about ensuring we don’t cause harm to those dealing with the waste. We also have to consider how our natural resources are beginning to run out.
As electrical goods increase in popularity so does the need for valuable metals and hazardous materials.
Due to the demand for these metals, there’s a distinct growth in the criminal recycling trade. Unfortunately, as with any criminal trade, there are no safety regulations when dealing with hazardous materials.
How do the goods end up in the criminal trade? They are imported into countries under the label of ‘second-hand goods’.
Countries including; Ghana, India, Pakistan, and Brazil. During a TV series with Reggie Yates, we’ve seen what happens to laptops, tablets, phones and gadgets once they reach these countries and how they ‘recycle’ the valuable metals within the products.
Sold to men and young boys nicknamed ‘burner boys’ they strip back our old electrical goods including laptops, desktops, extension wires and airconditioning units. Anything you throw away that is electrical can be found with the burner boys.
The documentary showed the public the largely unknown side to electrical waste. It highlighted the danger it can pose to the health of those dealing with it and the detrimental effect it’s having on our planet. Reggie showed us how the fires of burning electricals produce thick black smoke; he also followed one ‘burner boy’ to a doctors appointment where he was told the state of his health is quickly declining.
Although it sounds like a crazy notion; if we don’t, our resources will eventually run out and we’ll have to find new ways to produce our electrical goods.
Unfortunately, while the products end up on the criminal market they pose health risks to all those who are untrained deal with them properly.
While ‘burner boys’ melt off the plastic from electrical wiring and computers the fumes and pollution continue to destroy our planet, contribution to global warming.
If you have any gadgets sitting around be sure to recycle them with a registered recycling company like CIYG. If you’ve not thought about recycling, it might be worth re-using some resources.