E-waste recycling-at whose expense?

STAFF REPORT IBD: Computers, tablets and mo- bile phones are all popular consumer products while the conditions prevailing in Paki- stan about dismantling this electronic devices are entirely pathetic. “There are massive health and social prob- lems connected to e-waste recycling in Pakistan. At the same time it is the only source of livelihood for thousands of people,” says Shakila Umaira, are- searcher at KTH Centre for Sustainable Communica- tions and has made two field trips to Pakistan to study how e-waste is actually taken care of. According to her, the informal processes have a

number of negative social and environmental impacts. Workers manually dismantle old equipments, burn wires to get copper and dip old cir-

cuit boards in acid to extract precious metals such as gold and silver. They inhale toxic fumes every day and lack awareness of the health risks, she said.

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