View Full Version : Africa : A Digital Dump ??

12-03-2006, 05:29 AM

Ever wondered what happened to your old PC from 5 years ago...

I read an interesting NY Times report titled "The Digital Dump: Exporting Reuse and Abuse to Africa."

The report, written by Seattle's Basel Action Network, says that "much" of the used computer equipment sent from the U.S. to developing countries for reuse in schools and such is "often" neither usable nor repairable creating some serious environmental issues in the world's poorest places.

The report goes so far as to claim that U.S. recycling businesses purposely use a cloak of humanitarianism as a means of dodging proper recycling expenses.

The report found that as much as 75 percent of the estimated 400,000 used computers received into Nigeria each month…are junk! And without the means to repair or recycle the equipment locally it ends up in landfills (like that pictured above) wreaking all kinds of toxic havoc. The EPA concedes that "inappropriate practices" have occurred and is working on a program to provide greater assurance that exports are environmentally sound.

full report HERE (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/24/technology/24junk.html?ex=1287806400&en=59b8642bb6f7fc16&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss)

so, looks like western affluence has found another new and exciting way to crap on Africa :(

speaking from an Oz perspective, I actually have no idea what happens to old systems, I dont know if we even have an active policy on it. Sounds like this is a problem that needs to be sorted worldwide and quick.


12-03-2006, 01:40 PM
I read or saw somewhere that they have this very same problem in China, so it's pretty widespread. I wonder what can be done about it.

12-26-2006, 04:07 PM
Let your children worry about it. Or at least thats what our Parents and Grandparents used to say and some still do.

12-27-2006, 01:22 AM
I wanna go to Africa! What if I find a better monitor?