Mini-documentary about the world's largest e-waste dump


Wow, I thought my house held the world’s largest e-waste dump!

But seriously, this film touches on so many issues in such a short time. Poverty, environment, teen angst, even a little religion, not to mention the wallop to the head of anybody in the developed world worrying about whether a smartphone will bend. How can we conscionably allow such places to exist in the 21st century? (yet how could they possibly be eradicated?) Very sobering.


I think you are looking for “plasma waste conversion”

wow, they were physically mining the stuff for metals, but some of the more valuable stuff would take a lot more finesses to extract then they had on site. there is a lot of precious metals and valuable materials used in electronics manufacturing.

it was sad to see them breathing all the fumes from burning wire insulators, that can’t be good for you.

it is good to see this. makes that shiny new phone every year seem less shiny when you think about what happens to all the old ones. :frowning:

I wonder how much of that can be used for harvesting not just metals but the parts and functional modules. A lot of discarded stuff has still quite some life remaining in it, usually there are only few known major failure modes (capacitors in power supplies, I am looking at YOU!). A more sophisticated recycling/upcycling could be spun off these heaps of resources. Africans tend to be quite inventive when it comes to dealing with resource-constraints.

Edit: Some stuff is not even broken. I tend to “steal” discarded ewaste (if it would have some value the recyclers would be paying for it, not demanding it for free, so I can’t see any harm done regardless how I look at it). Most often the problem is the capacitors, or, in case of power supplies and chargers, chewed cables. Sometimes it is even just a missing power supply! Or no identifiable problem at all. In about 70-80% the repair is easy.


For more e-waste recycling/hell-on-earth imagery look up Guiyu.

It is the illegal aliens that tend to to be really motivated to find good uses:


This is so, so, so wrong. Wrong as in INACCURATE. The hyperbole and exaggeration make this just another example of “poverty porn”. Check out any vetted research in this area ( several links here ). Most of this is generated in Africa by African consumers. Nigeria had 6.9 million households with TV as of 2006 (WORLD BANK STATS), and Basel Convention studies were surprised to find that in 279 seized sea containers there was 91% reuse. The NGO which made up the stat about 80% exports has now disavowed it.

But really, people, look at this film and ask yourselves how anyone could even THINK this accounts for most of the e-waste in the world? It’s a joke. There are bigger e-scrap junkyards in small tows in the USA. This is all part of a campaign by planned obsolescence and “big shred”, and decent people are getting put in jail based on this hype and hoax. India has no used imports and just as many poverty porn scrapyards. Don’t boycott the poor geeks of color, visit instead.

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I’m not sure about hell on earth, but the land there is certainly polluted.

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