February 18, 2009

Greenpeace exposes illegal e-waste dumping

The environmental organization Greenpeace says it has conducted a three-year investigation into illegal electronic waste dumping in Nigeria.

Greenpeace officials said e-waste is one of the fastest growing types of hazardous waste, with up to 80 percent of e-waste from Europe failing to be disposed of safely.

The non-governmental organization said it took an unfixable television set, fitted it with a tracking device and delivered it to a British recycling station.

Instead of being safely dismantled in Europe, as it should have been, Greenpeace said the TV set was shipped to Nigeria to be sold or scrapped and dumped.

It's illegal to export broken electronic goods under EU legislation (and) at no point before it was crammed into a container with similar TVs and shipped off was the TV turned on or tested to see if it was in working condition, Greenpeace said.

The organization said Nigeria, like Ghana, Pakistan, India and China, is one of many destinations that Europe, the United States, Japan, South Korea and other developed countries are using as toxic e-waste dumping grounds.