This map of the world shows the amount of computers used per 100 people. It is made to show which areas of the world use the most electronics. It can be seen that First World countries, such as those in North America, Australia, countries in Europe, use technology most often. The concern, however, from a global perspective, is how are these electronics disposed of, and what area of the world will the electronics end up during the disposal process?
This is a picture of an electronic dumpsite. It was stated in the documentary, The Light Bulb Conspiracy, that many of our products are shipped to large dump sites in countries such as Ghana. The images were shocking and very powerful. I always assumed we had a better way of recycling these products. In a consumer driven culture, electronics have a newer, better feature that is released regularly, so we are driven to buy new products and dispose of the old ones.
A baby girl sits in a pile of wires waiting for her parents to come back from searching through the garbage. Corporations take advantage of the poverty in these countries and dump their electronic devices. Children are being raised in a dump while in the western world, people upgrade their phone because it is slightly out of date.
Poverty is so overwhelming that children take to the scraps after adults have picked it over. Each piece of electronic device is gone over by young kids, to ensure they have found every last bit of metal. This picture features two young boys out in a dump site, searching through electronics that were brought to their country from another part of the world.
In this image, a man is sifting through the electronic devices searching for pieces of metal. This metal is then taken out of the electronic devices and brought to a scrap metal yard where it can be traded for money. In this country, our garbage has become a means of income for its inhabitants. Furthermore, while the metal is sold and recycled for use, what is left of the electronic device remains as garbage in the large, vast wastelands.
This map is showing the countries of origin, to locations where the devices are being dumped. It was stated in the documentary, The Light Bulb Conspiracy, that it is illegal for countries to send used electronics to other, less developed countries, for disposal. However, one way companies have gotten around this was to claim that the electronics are in working order and are for secondary use. Once in the new country, the electronics are disposed of without intent to re-sell.
This mixing board is another piece of equipment that I paired with the speakers to sell on Kijiji. When disposing of electronics, I always assumed that they were part of a recycling program. That was until I watched the documentary The Light Bulb Conspiracy by director Cosima Dannoritzer. In the film, they showed some of the disposing practices done in North America which included shipping old electronics to various parts of the world.
This is a photo of speakers that I tried to sell on Kijiji a few weeks ago. The speakers are in working order, except the material has been ripped on the front half. The ad advertised $50.00 OBO. I couldn’t find any takers so I ended up sending them to the dump. This is an example of old technology being disposed of because it is thought to be outdated and newer models would be preferred.