Hardware supplier Stone Group has criticised public sector organisations for allowing e-waste to be illegally dumped on other continents, following a recent BBC programme exposing the practice.
In BBC3’s ‘Blood, Sweat & Luxuries: Gold and E-Waste’, aired last week, IT equipment from several high profile public sector organisations was alleged to have been transported to a waste site in Ghana, where young children scavenged for components to sell for scrap.
Andy Howell, group recycling manager at public sector specialist Stone, said: “I am bitterly disappointed and upset to see that IT hardware from highly reputable UK public sector organisations has somehow made its way to rubbish sites on another continent, such as those shown in Ghana. I am certain that those organisations who were highlighted, had entered into an agreement with their recycling providers in good faith, fully trusting that the old hardware would either be recycled or that any working units would be deployed to countries like Ghana, or other African countries in desperate need of actual working IT equipment.
“These public sector organisations and bodies have been let down badly by ‘cowboy suppliers’ who have not taken adequate care to ensure that the systems being replaced will be responsibly recycled. Not to mention the harm that such irresponsible behaviour is doing to the environment as a whole and specifically to the countries in which the waste is dumped.”