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Waste and Tech — Blog Action Day 2010

  • 2 min read

A few days ago, a relative of mine bought a new smartphone from a carrier. The carrier supplied free accessories, such as a charger made in china. The charger consequently stopped working after a few uses and is sitting in a drawer somewhere. My relative will most likely turn in the charger during a free electronics event. We would imagine that the turned in electronics would be transferred to a facility where experts would carefully take apart these doodads and extract their innards to be used towards new product, right?
Wrong. While these waste disposal programs are organized with samaritanian intentions in mind, they often get shipped to shoddy recyclers and transported overseas. Once over seas, these electronics can be distributed by a “recycling” company to adults and children with little income of disassemble. As documented on WebEcoist and other news sites, these electronics are picked apart in hazardous work conditions — you can’t even call these places working spaces!

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