China – A typhoon that struck southern China last week has caused severe damage to the region’s e-scrap industry, according to Adam Minter, Asia correspondent for ‘Recycling International’.
The Shanghai-based journalist has told ‘E-Scrap News’ that, beyond the human disaster, short- and long-term effects of typhoon Utor could be considerable for the e-scrap industry in China, which is focused on Guangdong and Guiyu, a municipality with 150 000 residents located on the coast. The typhoon has shut down e-scrap processing in the region, submerging current e-scrap inventories and putting immediate pressure on the government to resume operations quickly.
The typhoon may also have health and environmental implications. Concerns have risen in recent years over contamination from formal and informal e-scrap processing and other recycling activities in Guangdong. Owing to a host of high-profile news reports and allegations from watchdog groups, Guiyu has become a poster child for irresponsible e-scrap exporting.
Observers are now worried that raging floodwaters could intensify the region’s environmental issues. According to Minter, ‘the greater threat is the effect of floodwaters mixing with soils, groundwater and surface waters contaminated during the past three decades’.
Source: Resource Recycling