In Moradabad, whole communities subsist by processing waste created by the world’s love affair with electronic goods. In this extract from their book, Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey investigate the impact of this dangerous trade
From the road one could see locals washing the ash from burned e-waste and using sieves to recover fragments of metal. Women and children broke apart and segregated the printed circuit board components, prying open the object and separating the gold, silver and copper-plated components.
Locals in Moradabad in western Uttar Pradesh described [to us] the process of recycling this hazardous material. Once the basic dismantling and separation were achieved, different methods of extraction followed: typically burning, grinding, washing and bathing in acid.