Green issues are sometimes complex.  We need to recycle many things, like electronics, but we certainly don’t want to poison others in the process.  Efforts to protect the environment and conserve valuable resources must be coupled with proper health and safety procedures.  Unfortunately, just saying this doesn’t make it happen.  Developing countries are becoming a dumping ground for much toxic waste and proper environmental health and safety is being ignored, both by local opportunists and suppliers of e-Waste from developed nations.  From Greenpeace:

This shocking documentary from Greenpeace shows how “second hand goods” exported to Ghana for reuse are actually causing horrendous pollution. “People in the developed countries bring them here to bridge the digital gap but in actual fact they are creating a digital dump.”

Ghana — The latest place where we have discovered high tech toxic trash causing horrendous pollution is in Ghana. Our analysis of samples taken from two electronic waste (e-waste) scrap yards in Ghana has revealed severe contamination with hazardous chemicals.

Similar problems occur in China and, surprisingly, even in developed countries.  See related information about toxic waste dumps all over the world here.

However, you can also read good news about environmental protection in Europe and the effect it is having on US companies.

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Original text copyright © 2008 James K. Bashkin

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  1. dragonmage06

    Yeah, it’s frightening and sad to think about where all that stuff we casually throw away actually ends up. That’s not even taking into account all the waste that comes from manufacturing the stuff in the first place.

  2. Out of sight, out of mind is usually the mentality, but we need all need to understand where our waste is ending up because pollution in any country affects ours. Winds blow pollution particles from China to the US. What else is blowing in the wind?

    SteamboatEcobroker

  3. Jim,

    I have been a participant in a blog for some time now that might interest you. It is called Blue Island Almanack. You will find the discussions/commentary lively and often on issues where I suspect you might enjoy entering the fray. the URL is http://blueislandalmanack.blogspot.com. Drop by when you get a chance.

  4. It’s heartbreaking to know that this scenario has been going on for the past few years yet no strict environmental security plan has been implemented to further prevent future happenings. Just see on how they try to hide their “Waste” by substituting it with “second hand ‘goods’.” There isn’t any good in there!

  5. I’m always pleased to see blogs like yours because they share my point of view. If you’d like, you can check out
    http://www.alternative-energy-secrets.com. I often go there for I have the same sentiments when it comes to cO2 emissions and how to save up money using alternative, energy-saving methods.

  6. Kenneth: Thanks so much for your two thoughtful comments. I agree, and the further tragedy is that the Basel Action Network and related treaty respectively work against and make illegal the export of toxics to developing countries, but the US is the only developed country that won’t sign the treaty. See:
    http://greenchemistry.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/problem-electronic-waste-recycling-basel-action-network-and-the-state-of-recycling-worldwide/

    I’ll certainly look at your site.

    I think it would be great if the bloggosphere could somehow move beyond the extremes of metaphorical (I hope it is metaphorical) “love or hate” and into the realm of real debate, but it is still pretty rare. It certainly also reflects the entrenched sides of the political scene in the USA. Nonetheless, it is always great to find a kindred spirit. Best wishes, Jim

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