The ugly side of e-waste "recycling" was fully exposed, as Scott Pelley, correspondent for 60 Minutes, follows a shipping container full of used TV monitors from Colorado to Hong Kong and discovers the illegal smuggling of America's e-waste. Pelley goes to the town of Guiyu, where he documents the effects of e-waste recycling on the environment and on the workers- polluted rivers, sick peasants due to open burning and no protection, and mounds of toxic e-waste. Also documented on tape were the gangs that run the system, and the politicians that protect the system. Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist and authority on waste management at the Natural Resources Defense Council, explains:
The situation in Guiyu is actually pre-capitalist. It's mercantile. It reverts back to a time when people lived where they worked, lived at their shop. Open, uncontrolled burning of plastics. Chlorinated and brominated plastics is known worldwide to cause the emission of polychlorinated and polybrominated dioxins. These are among the most toxic compounds known on earth.
CAW and E-waste
- Read the report on e-waste prepared by Californians Against Waste (CAW), the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) and Green Capitol.