Old Computers Piling Up in the Third World

By Deane Barker on October 25, 2005

Where hazards of used PCs pile up: This is depressing. It’s being done under the guise of “donating” old hardware.

Much of the used computer equipment sent from the United States to developing countries for use in homes, schools and businesses is often neither usable nor repairable, creating enormous environmental problems in some of the world’s poorest places […]

[…] the unusable equipment is being donated or sold to developing nations by recycling businesses in the United States as a way to dodge the expense of recycling it properly.

In Lagos, the new report says, an estimated 500 containers of used electronic equipment enter Nigeria each month, each one carrying about 800 computers, a total of about 400,000 used computers a month. The majority of the equipment arriving in Lagos, the report says, is unusable and neither economically repairable or resalable.

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