Guiyu electronic waste town, China

Guiyu in China’s Guangdong Province is the world’s largest electronic waste site, with an estimated 80% of its 150,000 population (+200k migrant workers) working in the e-waste processing business, often with primitive and hazardous methods – which has led to severe pollution and health problems to the township.

Guiyu eletronic waste town, China

Western countries have been dumping their electronic waste to Asian and African countries for decades despite some rules and regulations which supposedly forbidden them from doing so. And with China’s economic boom they have created their own fair share of electronic waste and e-waste pollution as well.

Guiyu eletronic waste town, China
Guiyu eletronic waste town, China

The Guiyu local government has vowed to improve things since 2007. Not sure if the pollution is getting any better in Guiyu, but imo it’s merely a matter of channelling the e-waste to other cities, thus moving the problem from one place to another. Nothing is fundamentally changed.

Guiyu eletronic waste town, China
Guiyu eletronic waste town, China

The only probable solution is for the countries and private sectors to invest heavily in modern recycling facilities to process these e-waste the cleanest way possible. But with so many third world countries craving for the extra $$$, the primitive method of e-waste processing is set to last for a while unfortunately.

Photos from 2005-2007. Credits to Natalie Behring, Lai Yun and Jim Puckett (Basel Action Network) @ Greenpeace. With reference from Wikipedia.


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