In pictures: e-waste recycling plants

We take a look at some of the world's biggest recycling plants where computers go to die and be reborn.

By Chris Jager on May 4, 2012
27 of 29
Next month is World Environment Day; the United Nations' flagship environmental event celebrated by more than 100 countries around the world. As one of the biggest producers of e-waste, the computer industry has a pretty big responsibility when it comes to recycling. Thankfully, a lot of progress has been made already, as the following images can attest. Check out the rest of the gallery for a glimpse inside electronic waste recycling plants from across the globe -- from China's massive Green Eco-Manufacture plant to Australia's own Reverse Garbage Co-Op factory. (Click images to enlarge.)

[Photo credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images]
An employee of a computing dump operates a crane on 22 November 2007 in Bessancourt in the outskirts of Paris. [Photo credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images]
Computer hard discs are stored in a recycling plant for computing items in Jouy-le-Moutier in the outskirts of Paris. [Photo credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images]
An employee of a recycling plant for computing items moves a computer screen in Jouy-le-Moutier in the outskirts of Paris. [Photo credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images]
Electronics components are stored in a recycling plant for computing items in Jouy-le-Moutier in the outskirts of Paris. [Photo credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images]
An employee of a recycling plant for computing items disassembles a computer central unit in Jouy-le-Moutier in the outskirts of Paris. [Photo credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images]
An employee of a recycling plant for computing items disassembles a computer screen in Jouy-le-Moutier in the outskirts of Paris. [Photo credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images]
A Chinese worker sorts computer circuit boards on a motorized tricycle March 15, 2002 in the town of Guiyu, which is located approximately 248 miles north of Hong Kong. The local area has hundreds of small factories which recycle hi-tech parts from various sources such as computer, copier and audio devices. The environment suffers as workers melt these electronic parts for precious metal such as gold and platinum. [Photo credit: Kevin Lee/Getty Images]
A worker strips down a circuit board from an old computer for its electronics parts at the BRAL recycling company in Berlin, Germany. The parts will be recycled for their metals, including iron, aluminum, copper and nickel, as well as precious metals such as gold, palladium and tantalum. Many analysts are predicting shortfalls worldwide in coming decades of metals needed by the high-tech industry. [Photo credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images]
Old computers and electronic parts collect in piles at E-Parisara, an electronic waste recycling factory, April 11, 2008 in Dobbspet, 45 kilometers from Bangalore, India. [Photo credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images]
Workers dismantle old computers and electronics at E-Parisara, an electronic waste recycling factory, April 11, 2008 in Dobbspet, 45 kilometers from Bangalore, India. [Photo credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images]
A worker dismantles old computers and electronics at E-Parisara, an electronic waste recycling factory, April 11, 2008 in Dobbspet, 45 kilometers from Bangalore, India. [Photo credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images]
An Indian labourer pulls a sackful of circuit boards after dismantling a computer at a scrap computer workshop in Bangalore on October 30, 2009. [Photo credit: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images]
Workers dismantle old computers and electronics at E-Parisara, an electronic waste recycling factory in Dobbspet, 45 kilometers from Bangalore, India. [Photo credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images]
Old computers and electronic parts collect in piles at E-Parisara, an electronic waste recycling factory in Dobbspet, 45 kilometers from Bangalore, India. [Photo credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images]
Old computers and electronic parts collect in piles at E-Parisara, an electronic waste recycling factory in Dobbspet, 45 kilometers from Bangalore, India. [Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images]
India's growing digital economy has contributed to the amount of e-waste it generates. According to the Karnataka, a state pollution control board, more then 10 tones of electronic waste is produced in Bangalore alone every year and about 80 per cent of e-waste generated in the US is exported to India, China and Pakistan to be recycled. (Photo credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images]
Sparks fly at an electronic waste recycling factory in Dobbspet, 45 kilometers from Bangalore, India. [Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images]
A Chinese worker sorts computer circuit boards in a factory March 15, 2002 in the town of Guiyu, which is located approximately 248 miles north of Hong Kong. The local area has hundreds of small factories which recycle hi-tech parts from various sources such as computer, copier and audio devices. The environment suffers as workers melt these electronic parts for precious metal such as gold and platinum. [Photo credit: Kevin Lee/Getty Images]
Two labours collect used batteries at Green Eco-Manufacture, China's biggest used home appliance recycling factory, in Jingmen, central China's Hubei province on December 3, 2009. China will need to invest up to 30 billion USD a year to meet its goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the state press said, citing an academic study, as Beijing set its targets before world leaders gather in Copenhagen this month for talks on negotiating a new global warming pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012. [Photo credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images]
A Chinese worker sorts computer circuit boards in a factory March 15, 2002 in the town of Guiyu, which is located approximately 248 miles north of Hong Kong. The local area has hundreds of small factories which recycle hi-tech parts from various sources such as computer, copier and audio devices. The environment suffers as workers melt these electronic parts for precious metal such as gold and platinum. [Photo credit: Kevin Lee/Getty Images]
Patterns appear on a printed circuit board from a computer undergoing recycling June 4, 2007 in Sydney Australia. Modern machines such as computers and personal entertainment devices are being recycled by the Reverse Garbage Co-Op in Sydney's West, preventing them from ending up in landfill sites. The mother-boards and other usable materials are removed and re-used in re-built machines, and also sold on to artists for artwork. The so-called 'E-Waste' from such machines is currently growing at over three times the rate of general municipal waste in Australia. [Photo credit: Ian Waldie/Getty Images]
Operations manager IT and Infrastructure for the Reverse Garbage Co-Op poses with printed circuit boards from a computer undergoing recycling in Sydney Australia. [Photo credit: Ian Waldie/Getty Images]
Patterns appear on a printed circuit board from a computer undergoing recycling in Sydney Australia. World Environment Day is marked on June 5 every year, and is the United Nations flagship environmental event, celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world. The event was first established in 1972 by the United Nations General Assembly, with the purpose being to concentrate global attention on the importance of the environment and to encourage political attention and action. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are causing the planet to increase in temperature. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the planetary atmosphere are higher now than at any time for the past 600,000 years, and the rate of increase is accelerating. [Photo credit: Ian Waldie/Getty Images]
Tony Domanski, Operations manager IT and Infrastructure for the Reverse Garbage Co-Op poses with printed circuit boards from a computer undergoing recycling in Sydney Australia. Modern machines such as computers and personal entertainment devices are being recycled by the Co-Op in Sydney's West, preventing them from ending up in landfill sites. The mother-boards and other usable materials are removed and re-used in re-built machines, and also sold on to artists for artwork. The so-called 'E-Waste' from such machines is currently growing at over three times the rate of general municipal waste in Australia. World Environment Day is marked on June 5 every year, and is the United Nations flagship environmental event, celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world. The event was first established in 1972 by the United Nations General Assembly, with the purpose being to concentrate global attention on the importance of the environment and to encourage political attention and action. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are causing the planet to increase in temperature. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the planetary atmosphere are higher now than at any time for the past 600,000 years, and the rate of increase is accelerating. [Photo credit: Ian Waldie/Getty Images]
US-IT-environment Technician Mark Reynolds uses close circuit television screen to operate the computer shredding machine at the HP Recycling Center in Roseville, California, 13 June 2007. Materials such as batteries and LCD screens must be removed by hand before the hardware can be put into the shredder, which crushes the items and separates the plastic and the different kinds of metals for various recycling uses. HP calls the process 'product minimisation.' [Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images]
US-IT-environment and HP recycling worker moves a huge box of metal separated by the computer recycling shredder machine, at the HP Recycling Center in Roseville, California. [Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images]
A labourer works at Green Eco-Manufacture, China's biggest used home appliance recycling factory, in Jingmen, central China's Hubei province on December 3, 2009. China will need to invest up to 30 billion USD a year to meet its goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the state press said, citing an academic study, as Beijing set its targets before world leaders gather in Copenhagen this month for talks on negotiating a new global warming pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012. [Photo credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images]
Two labourers work at Green Eco-Manufacture, China's biggest used home appliance recycling factory, in Jingmen, central China's Hubei province. [Photo credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images]

Copyright © CRN Australia. All rights reserved.

Sign up to receive CRN email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Polls
Which distributor's cloud marketplace will be most successful?






Latest Comments
CRN Magazine

Issue: 340 | July 2015

CRN Magazine looks in-depth at the emerging issues and developments for the channel, and provides insight, analysis and strategic information to help resellers better run their businesses.