Sunday, April 26, 2015

Agbogbloshie: A Digital Waste Dump

By Alex Avila

Agbogbloshie, Ghana is a place that is generally not on many people’s radars. But, to a sizable part of the world, it is known as one of the world’s largest electronic waste dumps. Many cities in Europe and the United States have used Agbogloshie to offload tons of computers, hard drives, and many other scraps of e-waste, most of it completely unsalvageable. As a consequence, many citizens of Abgogloshie must cope with the unsustainable levels of pollution and waste.

Those aren’t the only implications, either: the dump has become a breeding ground for e-crime: it is possible for would-be criminals to buy hard drives that could contain a great deal of personal information, such as credit card numbers, bank account information, and other things that most people would not want to be compromised.

Many people’s lives are compromised due to the mountains of waste that pile in this city. This is a byproduct of planned obsolescence: as computers malfunction faster and become more irrelevant technologically speaking, the waste adds up, and cities like Agbogbloshie suffer the consequences.

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