"Scavenging Hazardous 'E-Waste' for a Few Redeemables"

"ACCRA, Ghana -- Simon Emmanuel, 11, reported for work at 9 a.m., to a scene that looked like something out of the apocalypse. ...

Simon spends every day at this place, a scrap yard at the impossibly teeming Agbogbloshie market in Ghana's capital, mining -- along with hundreds of men and boys -- for metal wires and parts that can be re-sold and burning the plastic that encases them. Hour after hour, their clanking tools pound apart computers and video game consoles that were discarded in the United States and Europe and shipped here to rot.

Agbogbloshie is one hotspot in a growing mountain of hazardous electronic waste, according to environmentalists, who have adopted the issue as a clarion call for the information age. The site is also a stark example of the West's continued abuse of Africa, critics say: The rich world not only extracts resources from the continent, it also uses it as a trash bin."

Karin Brulliard reports for the Washington Post July 16, 2009.

Thursday, July 16, 2009