What a load of scrap

Updated: 2013-12-29 08:19

By Wang Jing (China Daily)

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More than 700 families work to sort through tons of recyclable material in a little village. Wang Jing visits it.

Dongxiaokou village, on the northern outskirts of Beijing, is the destination of much of Beijing's recyclable scrap. The yards of the village are filled with blocks of crushed metal, stacks of cardboard, heaps of plastic bottles and piles of newspapers and rags. It is the home of more than 700 families, who work on sorting and preparing it for a second life. Most are from Gushi, a poor county in Henan province. When the dark falls in the city, tricycles and trucks throng to the village, loaded with discarded cardboard, paper and plastic bottles.

 What a load of scrap

At dusk, scrappers return to Beijing's Dongxiaokou village, where nearly two-thirds of households deal in e-waste.

 What a load of scrap

The global economic slowdown has left the scrappers struggling as prices for raw materials plummet.

 What a load of scrap

Winter is bad for business. E-waste recyclers' peak season comes before university graduation, when students are most likely to shed their gadgets.

 What a load of scrap

The guts of used gizmos are heaped outside of the squat brick buildings where recyclers live and work.

 What a load of scrap

Dongxiaokou's scrapyards, on the northern outskirts of Beijing, have epitomized China's industrial boom over the past two decades. Photos by Wang Jing / China Daily

 What a load of scrap

The scrapyards are scissored by piles of plastic bottles more than one story high.

(China Daily 12/29/2013 page6)