What a load of scrap

What a load of scrap

BEIJING- 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.

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

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

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

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

Dongxiaokou's scrapyards, on the northern outskirts of Beijing, have epitomized China's industrial boom over the past two decades.

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

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