Where Do Used Electronics End up?

Recent news articles have described the West African country of Ghana as a "dumping ground" for electronic waste from all over the world, but there's really more to the story. In fact, the majority of Ghana's used electronics imports are not simply burned, but rather are refurbished and resold locally. According to 2009 data from the UN Environment Programme, only 15% of Ghana's used electronics imports went straight to the dump. Recent initiatives hold some promise, not only for recycling the electronics, but also for creating job opportunities for many residents. Reports indicate that Ghana imports 40,000 tons of "electronic waste" every year and while the country has done what it can towards recycling the material, it has until recently been on its own, dealing both with the enormous amount of work and the health hazards associated with it. In 2018, however, Ghana entered into an agreement with the Swiss firm SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) that is expected to raise $100 million USD in revenue every year. The pact aims to ensure the proper handling of all e-waste material, the purchasing of recycled goods, and the development of recycling plants that will bring more jobs to Ghana.

A virtual visit to Ghana:

  • The world's largest reservoir (in terms of surface area) is Lake Volta in Ghana, which covers 3,283 square miles (8,503 square km).
  • Ghana was formerly a British colony known as the Gold Coast due to its large supply of gold and other precious resources.
  • In 1957, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African nation to gain independence from British rule.
More Info: Modern Ghana

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