For years, more than 100,000 people in Delhi have toiled in the city’s electronic scrapyards. Tons of printers, computers and other castaway electronics arrive here every day from all over the world. The workers take them apart and salvage the parts for reuse. The work is illegal. It’s also dangerous, as the components can be toxic.
Recently the government has cracked down on these illegal factories. Delhi officials are licensing electronic waste sites that legitimately dispose of this toxic trash. The workers who have long taken the refuse apart by hand say the new system is working, but that also means their jobs are being taken away.