Electronic Waste & An Alternative

Hi all!

Can’t believe that we are halfway through week 4! I’m busily trying to finish off Assignment 1 so that I can get started on the next one. I was so busy working on my infographic that I almost forgot that I still had to post! Anyway, I wasn’t sure what I should write about to day, so I set to scrolling through the reader to find some inspiration. That’s when I stumbled across Rochelle’s post. It was all about E-waste and what happens to all our electronics after we throw it away. It was eye opening to say the least and I was confronted by my own wastefulness.

You see I hate waste. I hate wasting money, I hate wasting food, I hate wasting petrol, I hate wasting clothes, I hate wasting anything and everything. Why? Because there are people in this world that literally have nothing. Yet, here I am throwing away my money and throwing away clothes that someone else really needs. However, it had never really occured to me that E-Waste was an issue. (As I hate waste I’ve had the same phone and laptop for the last 5 years). According to the UN and the Guardian though,

Millions of mobile phones, laptops, tablets, toys, digital cameras and other electronic devices bought this Christmas are destined to create a flood of dangerous “e-waste” that is being dumped illegally in developing countries.

One of the places that this E-Waste is reportedly dumped is Ghana. (Rochelle also speaks of rubbish dumps in China). This dumping of electronic waste is according to Dateline is breaking a huge number of laws and conventions, yet the manufacturers do not care. Neither do they care about the people in Ghana whose lives are being greatly affected by this, and not for good.

Some of the pictures from the Daily Mail’s article are heartbreaking and horrendous.

Worker: Rahman Dauda, 12, started working here three years ago and burns e-waste with a few friends. ‘Whenever possible I go to school,’ he says http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2595966/Think-television-recycled-rid-This-likely-end-dumping-grounds-one-dubbed-worlds-biggest-e-waste-site.html

But how does this relate to ICTs in the classroom? Well it occurred to me that Ghana has classrooms too. Do they not deserve the same opportunities and resources in Ghana that we have available here? Instead of dumping these computers and other technologies why not salvage what still works, or could be fixed and give it to those who can use it, with no cost.

Below is the documentary on Australian Dateline, I highly recommend watching it.

Happy studying

Kate.

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