A large part of the Securis mission is our commitment to proper IT recycling and ensuring that our customer’s retired electronics (and our own) never end up in a landfill. Recently, an IT professional who works at a fairly large healthcare facility asked us why we bother taking the time to break apart old computers and make sure that all parts and scrap are re-purposed or recycled. “After all,” he said, “it’d be much less expensive and quicker to just shred the hard drive and dump the rest.”
While he has a point, we feel strongly about our green initiatives and hold our R2 certification for this very reason – R2 means that nothing ends up in places like Agbobloshie, the world’s largest e-waste dump.
Today, The Washington Post ran an article about the children who make a living in the toxic world of discarded electronics. Chilling photos by photographer Valentino Bellini show pollution, huge piles of electronic waste, and black, smoke-filled air from burning e-waste.
Bellini believes that his powerful photos will help to change something in the life of the subjects he portrays. We hope so as well.
“According to a United Nations StEP initiative report in 2013, Americans on average each generated 65 pounds of electronic junk, and it’s only going to increase. In the next four years, the global volume of electronic waste is expected to increase by 33 percent; the Guardian points out the increase will weigh as much as eight Egyptian pyramids. The Atlantic reports that up to 80 percent of all discarded electronic devices and appliances end up in dumps similar to Agbogbloshie.”
An earlier article in The Guardian also discusses the dump. Formerly a wetland in Ghana, the e-wasteland is now where boys and young men go through devices to retrieve valuable metal, most especially copper. According to the article, most workers experience lung problems, nausea, debilitating headaches, eye damage, and often die from cancer in their 20’s.
Disturbing photos of the area show the above bridge, built from discarded computer monitors. Another shows cows with open wounds grazing at the dump.
So, for our our IT professional friend who asked about why we bother with taking the time to properly recycle electronics, our planet is why. The future is why. Bellini’s chilling photos are why.