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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

GUIYU : THE CONNECTION WITH E-WASTE

1. Have you ever thought where have all the 486 and Pentium machines vanished from your desktops at home and offices, what happens after your ink cartridge gets over and is thrown in the garbage, what happens to the discarded keyboards, mouse’s and all electronic accessories that u reject being obsolete. In 90% of the cases, they often end up in GUIYU, which may be the electronic-waste capital of the globe. Guiyu (pronounced GWAY-yoo), a few hours' drive northeast of Hong Kong, is by far China's biggest e-waste scrap heap. The city comprises 21 villages with City businesses processing 1.5 million tons of e-waste a year. As much as 80 percent of it comes from overseas.


2. China is believed to be the predominant recipient of the world's e-waste, with a roughly estimated one million tons of electronic waste being shipped there per year, mostly from the United States, Canada, Japan, and South Korea. It arrives via container ships through the ports of Hong Kong or that of Pearl River Delta such as Nanhai. From there it is trucked to informal e-waste processing centers. Guiyu receives more e-waste than any other area in China. Guiyu began receiving e-waste around 1995, slowly attracting peasant migrant workers from other provinces to work in processing it. There are an estimated 150,000 e-waste workers in Guiyu.


 

3. This obscure Chinese rice village is now the e-waste capital of the world - a place where bona fide mountains of keyboards and circuit boards tower over its inhabitants. The water here is undrinkable - it has been for years. Most of Guiyu makes their living by trashing outdated Dells with their bare hands. To access the cooking needs, for example, they roast circuit boards over coal-fired grills. Gold is obtained using acid strippers, whose sludge is later dumped into the local river.


4. During an undercover visit to Guiyu in December of 2001, representatives of the Basel Action Network, Seattle, saw and taped villagers manually cracking leaded-glass computer monitors to retrieve the copper yokes within. The men, women and children of Guiyu also conduct open burning of PVC-coated wire and cable; they “grill” circuit boards to melt the lead solder to remove chips; and they work with a 75 percent hydrochloric acid solution to separate precious metals from circuit boards.The amounts of scrap computers, monitors and printers is staggering, overflowing in large piles in the front and back yards of villagers who work from their homes or other small locations.The acid stripping operations, along with the open dumping of waste and ash residue into ditches and riverbeds, has rendered the well water and ground water of Guiyu undrinkable. For the past five years, water has been trucked in from distant villages.

5. "If you burn it, you can tell what kind of plastic it is," said the man, who gave only his surname, Wang. "They smell different. There are many kinds of plastic, probably 60 or 70 types."Six of Guiyu's villages specialize in circuit board disassembly, seven in plastics and metals reprocessing, and two in wire and cable disassembly.An average computer yields only $1.50 to $2 worth of commodities such as shredded plastic, copper and aluminum. 

6. The biggest obligation lies in the developed countries that export e-waste, instead of doing something about the problem ,they are just dumping the same in underdeveloped and developing countries. JUST TRANSFERING THE TRASH AND GETTING AWAY. 

7. Perniciousness is only one reason that recycling electronics is costly in the United States. Another is poor design. U.S. manufacturers haven't made products to facilitate disassembly. A report advises that investing $1 more in design costs per computer could save $4 for American recyclers in disassembly costs. Nor have manufacturers gone very far in finding "green" materials to replace toxic flame retardants.

 8. So whats the sole purpose of writing this and doing some cut paste from various utilitarian sites like wiki/ban.org and many others,the intention is to get educated on the subject. Nothing more. It is not in my or your hands to stop receiving e-waste from the so called developed countries, it is in the hands of the political big bosses who are busy pheroying jhanda’s of respective parties and are absolutely clueless. Where’s is the GUIYU town in India?????Any clue’s?

1 comments:

  1. the state of obsolete computers is slightly better in india...because the aam aadmi is very hesitant to through a computer at dirt cheap price....u see all your oldies around who are computer savvy and have computers at home...they will all be running lives on p2 or p3 or may be an old celeron......which are in good condition running and doing the necessary typing work...it is synonymous to having a diamond.....kyonkee heera hai sadaa ke liye...and so is an old computer at home..good work anupam....

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