1. Guiyu is a used semiconductor / chip harvesting and reuse center. The acid baths stuff (for biproduct after chip reuse) stopped years ago, the material is now shipped to Dowa in Japan. There's an ongoing issue with incineration of the boards to concentrate the metals ash for Dowa - that is the focus of the improvements in the article.
2. Guiyu's main industry is textile dying. The river pollution blamed on "e-waste" is almost identical to Louhajang River in Bangladesh - a textile industry pollution site.
3. Abogbloshie in Ghana is mostly an automobile junkyard. Very little of the "e-waste" there is recently imported. African cities have had TV and recycling for a long time. World Bank statistics show Nigeria had 6.9M households with TV in 2006, for example. India has NO used imports, plenty of informal sector processes.
4. Three separate peer reviewed studies show 85%-91% reuse of used electronics imports in South America and Africa.
5. According to TFA, the material currently processed in Guiyu is mostly generated in China.
6. USA has never been a significant exporter to Africa.
Emerging markets pay $$ for all the shipping. They pay for stuff they want, which is usually reuse value. They also generate "e-waste" and have their own dumps. China and India and Africa generate more electronic junk than USA or Europe. For some decent academic study on the Hoax, here are links to research at Memorial University, MIT, ASU, and UN at this /. story from last December.
http://news.slashdot.org/story.... Innocent tinkerers and fixers are getting a firehose of bullshit #FreeHurricaneBenson. It is true that China (and TCL, the largest TV manufacturer in China) have invested in a clean up of Guiyu, and it's true Guiyu was nasty, but there was fortunately not all that much "ewaste" to clean up (worst is incineration of boards to concentrate ash, after chip harvest, prior to export to Dowa). Unfortunately they are not taking on cleanup of the textile industry, so the arsenic in the water samples will remain. Finding arsenic in the Guiyu river should have tipped people off in the first place, it has nothing to do with e-waste and everything to do with textile factories and copper mining.