The new gold rush – prospecting in techno-trash

You’ve probably heard before that a lot of the Western world’s technological waste, rather than being recycled, gets exported out to poorer countries where the laws are lax enough to allow it. What you may not know is that, thanks to the increasing scarcity of gold and copper, and the abundance of those metals in technology waste, there’s a boom of employment for residents of those countries willing to smash up the junk and pluck out the good parts, as this photo essay documents. The dark side to this recycling is that the unwanted stuff – toxic PCB substrate, for example – seeps into the water supplies. [SlashDot]