Today we visited the one and only valid e-waste recyclers in Africa, City Waste Management Company. They are outside of Accra and Computer Reach has contracted with them to handle the end of life for the imported computers. They gave us a tour of the facility outside Accra. They had bins and bins of sorted piece parts from computers, CRT monitors, cell phones, and other electronics.
They have relationships with corporations world wide that buy the separated and sorted materials to capture the gold, copper, plastic, etc from the electronics. There was a group visiting there from Belgium to train them on proper demanufacturing and sorting for better return in the recycle market. Vivian our hostess and the Public Affairs/Field Coordinator was vary passionate about recycling. She’s my soul sister here in Ghana!
They also work with the children at the Agbogbloshie dump who tear apart electronics on their own for copper and other precious metals. Unfortunately, they often burn the computers to more easily retrieve the metal. Burning computers creates toxic gas and the children are often sick and can die from this work. Waste Management is working to train them to salvage the piece parts safely. They provide them with gloves, masks, and safety glasses. They train them on procedures that make the parts more marketable. City Waste Group is planning some educational efforts too so the children working at the dump can go to school.