Professor John Blacker and colleagues around the world are finding ways to reclaim valuable materials from discarded electronics.
On the outskirts of Ghana’s capital city, Accra, on the banks of the Korle Lagoon, is the Agbogbloshie electronic waste dump.
This huge 20-acre scrap yard — that’s about the size of eleven football pitches — is the country’s main centre for e-waste recycling. Surrounded by towering piles of computers, laptops, old phones, printers, cables and plastic components, many people live, eat and work on the site.
It is here, and at other similar sites, that some of world’s electronic waste ends up.
The UK alone generates 1.6 million tonnes of electronic waste a year, much of which is exported to low or middle-income countries, especially Ghana and India.