As much as I hate people and organizations who show me how much damage my lifestyle is doing to the environment just when I’m in the midst of enjoying myself … below, two images of American Christmas lights piled up in a Guangdong scrap yard. To the left, the pile, to the right, a close-up. Click to enlarge.
Now, before people start feeling all (white) guilty about sending this stuff to China, let me offer some reassurance. In the US, this kind of thing typically finds its way to a landfill (Americans don’t tend to bring their old lights to the local scrap yard – though they should). In China, if it makes it over here, it’s recycled in wire chopping plants that recover the copper and the rubber at a fairly high rate. After the jump, a couple of images of a chopping plant in Guangdong.
Below, low-grade American insulated copper wire (of somewhat higher quality than Christmas lights) going into the choppers and sorting system.
And, in the next image, the sorted copper – ready to be sent to the smelter down the highway – or, if they want it, manufacturers of new Christmas lights.
Ho, ho, ho.