The Oncoming E-Waste Hell

How are the west’s ‘recycled’ TVs and computers ending up in a toxic dump in Ghana? Dateline investigates the trade in e-waste which is poisoning a once picturesque part of Africa.


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Dumping electronic waste onto the developing world is a hazardous but profitable business. What is being done to regulate the problem and improve recycling efforts at home?

Every year, Americans upgrade their TVs, cell phones, computers and other electronic devices at a breathtaking pace. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the U.S. produces 300 million tons of electronic waste annually. About 80 percent of that ends up in domestic landfills or is “recycled” overseas in hazardous conditions.

Disposing of e-waste legally and responsibly has been a political and a practical headache for years. And a growing appetite for consumerism around the world is only fueling the problem.


“Illegal trash trade: E-waste smuggling contaminate developing countries”

Disposing of electronic waste these days somehow resembles dumping radioactive waste in a third-world country: it’s illegal, but profitable. Millions of tons of used electronics end up in Asia and Africa, where recycling is a big yet dangerous business.
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