EDITORIAL: Agbogbloshie: Portraits at the end of E-Waste: 20151219_Fortune_Ewaste_1111b

Agbogbloshie, Ghana | December 19, 2015Ernest looks for raw copper among the Agbogbloshie dump's burning fields - where young men - almost all internal migrants from Ghana's northern Tamale region - toil in toxic smoke, burning down manufactured parts into their basic copper components. The dump works with a specific process. First there are the buyers of the waste, men who cart in used computers, automobiles and any other junk they can get their hands on. In turn this manufactured garbage is sold to small {quote}storefronts{quote} in the dump that distribute it to the younger men to burn. Below that strata of employment are the boys that walk through the debris fields picking up the copper remains hoping to collect enough to fill a kilo bag. The resulting raw copper is sold back to construction and mineral component wholesalers, which reintroduce the recycled copper back into the world market. A wetland suburb of Accra, Agbogbloshie is home to a vast dumping ground - once labeled the world's largest e-waste site - that covers an unstable swamp, the garbage and soot a carpet that sways with every step, sometimes swallowing new migrants who arrived hoping to make a slim income to feed themselves each day.

Agbogbloshie, Ghana | December 19, 2015

Ernest looks for raw copper among the Agbogbloshie dump's burning fields - where young men - almost all internal migrants from Ghana's northern Tamale region - toil in toxic smoke, burning down manufactured parts into their basic copper components.

The dump works with a specific process. First there are the buyers of the waste, men who cart in used computers, automobiles and any other junk they can get their hands on. In turn this manufactured garbage is sold to small "storefronts" in the dump that distribute it to the younger men to burn. Below that strata of employment are the boys that walk through the debris fields picking up the copper remains hoping to collect enough to fill a kilo bag. The resulting raw copper is sold back to construction and mineral component wholesalers, which reintroduce the recycled copper back into the world market.

A wetland suburb of Accra, Agbogbloshie is home to a vast dumping ground - once labeled the world's largest e-waste site - that covers an unstable swamp, the garbage and soot a carpet that sways with every step, sometimes swallowing new migrants who arrived hoping to make a slim income to feed themselves each day.