The Chinese town of Guiyu is the graveyard of Christmas past.
It is where presents – game consoles, laptops, mobile phones – come to die.
It is also where they are reborn. In this giant scrap-yard, so dangerously polluted that its children are being clinically poisoned, the electronic objects of desire, a million tons of them a year, are broken apart, melted down, and washed in acid to be recycled into a new flood of imports for Christmas future.
Now the British Environmental Agency says that despite a ban on exports of electronic waste to China, unscrupulous middle men are using a loophole in the law intended to encourage recycling to dump more goods in places like Guiyu, where labour costs are low and environmental controls weak. [Full Text]
See also the documentary by CDT’s own Michael Zhao that helped reignite interest in the China e-waste problem last month.