This week our team visited an eWaste facility in Ghana called City Waste Group. Proper recycling of electronic waste is a very important issue, you may have seen our earlier blog post on the matter. In Ghana, proper recycling is especially important because many American and European companies ship their old electronics to Ghana. This issue is discussed in Frontline World’s Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground. You’ll see from that story that many families, including children, work in these eWaste facilities, combing through the mountains of stuff looking for salvageable metals or other items they can sell to make a living.
Our team heard more about these stories at City Waste, who is doing their part to educate the locals on proper ways to dismantle electronics. Typically, many people will burn a computer to extract valuable metals inside. This produces toxic gas that can be very harmful to their heath. City Waste shows people how to take apart the computers without burning them, and also in a way that makes the extracted metals as valuable as possible. On our visit, we also learned that City Waste tires to urge parents to put their kids in school rather than keep them by their side working in the dump.
Computer Reach has contracted with City Waste to handle to end life of the computers we’re importing. This is very important to us, and we know that the machines we send over will be recycled responsibly.
On our visit, we saw many bins of pieces that had already been sorted, and other piles of eWaste that were awaiting pickup. As always, the people we visit with there were gracious hosts, something we have experienced throughout our trip in Ghana.