Planetsave | China’s Toxic E-Waste Problem Grows Daily

Millions of tons of toxic e-waste from around the world are finding their way onto streets and alleyways in Chinese villages as peasants eke out a living reclaiming precious metals from electronic equipment. What isn’t reclaimed goes into unregulated dumping grounds. Reported by AP and others, this is the flip-side of recycling: a good idea, poorly executed, is leaving massive heath problems and environmental problems in China. Frankly, this kind of work needs to be done in moderately or highly sophisticated facilities, not in peoples houses or in unregulated, improperly outfitted facilities. Of course, the same exploitation of Western countries occurred for many years, but we are trying to stop it (and have succeeded in many cases).  China would do well to learn from our more unfortunate tales of industrialization.

Who are we to judge? People whose countries have been there, done that, and seen enough (for the most part).  Of course, the Western world could do much better, too, but the situation reported here is just awful. The resulting health damage and eventual environmental cleanup will costs billions. Doing things properly to start with might require some capital investment, but it is necessary.

© James K. Bashkin, 2007

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  1. 100 % Eco Friendly recycling

    In this world we have become as humans consumers. We consume every thing.

    The problem arises when we forget that what we consume, then throw away, not all of our waste gets properly disposed of.

    Not seen, not thought of right?

    When our electrical items fail we just throw them away not thinking of where they go.

    Here is how you can insure that when you discard your items, your items do not land up in a land fill, or over seas just to pollute a more poverty stricken area:

    Make sure that your recycler only uses a complete Eco friendly down stream for the materials being recycled.

    This means that when you discard a TV or old computer it only goes to processes that will be completely Eco and human friendly.

    Recycling should not be at the cost of our environment or the cost of human rights and safety.

    We as a company could make hundreds more on these materials we collect for free, if we just turn our heads and say, not seen not thought of.

    We feel that if we can prove that recycling can be done in the cleanest safest way possible so that our environment, and the people who live in it, are not injured in the process, we might just show that recycling can be a culture not a cost.

    If we as recyclers do not take this philosophy, then we our selves will pose an environmental risk instead of a solution.

    Some times a little less profit can still benefit everyone in the process.

    Recycle please, but do it completely Eco friendly.

    Besides that………….profit will not matter after a while…….we will end up polluting our selves out of a planet in the long run if we do not start practicing this soon.

    Thank you
    Mike Dolbow
    CEO / Green Planet Solutions Inc.

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful response. I think it is important for people to recognize that your comments did not need to make reference to global warming to make sense:

    no matter what side of the global warming question people chose to believe or follow, clean and socially responsible recycling avoids adding toxic electronic waste to groundwater and captures valuable natural resources. In the electronics world, these are typically resources that carried a great energy cost to mine and refine them in the first place.

    Best wishes for the New Year

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