Faces of China: Heavy Metal
Fengjiang is home to a vast digital dumping ground, but e-waste could be endangering those who live and work there.
Many of the world’s discarded mobile phones, televisions and computers end up in China. The town of Fengjiang, south of Shanghai, is the site of a large recycling yard; a vast digital dumping ground where piles of electronic scrap – known as e-waste – accumulate.
A recent UN report on hi-tech rubbish predicted that by 2020, the amount of e-waste from old computers in China will have jumped by 400 per cent.
China produces more than two million tonnes of e-waste each year – second only to the US. And it remains a major destination for developed nations to export their hi-tech rubbish – despite China officially banning the import of such waste.
This has serious implications for the environment and public health.