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In India, a Toxic Harvest of Recycled Electronics

By Sean Gallagher - 2014-04-16T14:48:43Z

Photograph by Sean Gallagher

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Informal to Formal

On the busy streets of Chandni Chowk, in the heart of Kolkata, second-hand e-waste salesman operate out of small stalls and tiny rooms squeezed in between the narrow alleyways.

Some of the operators want to make the transition from informal to formal, government-approved recycling. But making that change is difficult. National regulations have laid out stringent requirements for those who wish to formalize their business, and startup costs of more than $15,000 are proving to be prohibitively expensive.