04 Oct Australian E-Waste
Australian e-waste ending up in toxic African dump, torn apart by children
(From ABC News)
A computer monitor from St George Bank, destined for recycling in Australia, has been found on a toxic e-waste dump in west Africa, being pulled apart by children as young as five.A computer monitor from St George Bank, destined for recycling in Australia, has been found on a toxic e-waste dump in west Africa, being pulled apart by children as young as five.
At Agbogbloshie dump, in Ghana’s capital, Accra, children tear apart e-waste from Western nations with their hands, and burn circuit boards over open fires to melt out the precious metals.
Broken or redundant computers are considered hazardous waste and are illegal to ship out of Australia — so the discovery of the bank monitor raises serious questions about the integrity and regulation of Australia’s growing e-waste problem.
St George Bank, wholly owned by Westpac, claims gold standard environmental stewardship.
It says it followed the “right processes to ensure the St George Bank monitor was despatched” to their recycling partner.
Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek. AUDIO: Listen to the full documentary (Background Briefing)Ghanaian environmental reporter, Mike Anane, on assignment for RN’s Background Briefing, discovered the broken monitor during a routine visit to check on the health and welfare of children working at Agbogbloshie dump, considered the worst dump in the world.
“Over 500 container loads of electronic waste are coming from these developed countries, including Australia, every single month,” said Anane, speaking from Accra.
“Lately there is so much coming from Australia. I see about three container loads of electronic waste coming from Australia every single month.
“It is not just immoral, it is criminal to ship these things here.”