Case Study Toxic Waste Disposal


CaseStudy: Toxic Waste Disposal

ToxicWaste Disposal

Muchunlike in Timberlea, Halifax where the community members wereinvolved in a local decision-making event, most countries will face achallenge when it comes to making decisions with regard to disposalof waste. This may be due to the fact that it is not easy to reachthe entire population to make such decisions. In most cases, thepolitical decision makers will always make sure that they are notdirectly affected by the waste disposal activities by ensuring thatit doesn’t happen in the proximity of their residence or investmentregions. One method however seems quite strange is the wastemanagement by export to other countries. This depicts a scenario inwhich developed countries do not want to deal with their own wastesand the stakes are raised further in the cases where the exportedwastes cannot be reused or recycled (GreenPeace International, 2009).

Itis evident that these wastes are usually disposed in developingcountries more so in Asia as well as West Africa. Since mostreceiving countries do not take proper measures to monitor thesewastes, the increasing levels cannot be determined. Furthermore thesewastes are usually deposited in the poor sections of these countriesleading to health risks as well as environmental pollution to thelocal population (Vidal,2013).One of the cases which led to a crisis is the Ivory Coast case whichinvolved the death of up to 17 local Ivorians and the subsequentinjury of close to 30,000 locals and 100,000reported health relatedconditions in the year 2006. This provides a typical case where aEuropean based company decided cut its operational cost which saw thedisposal of toxic chemicals including hydrogen sulphide in the portof Abidjan. This disposal could have been facilitated by theofficials in the Port, Local influential businessmen as well as theNational Bodies concerned with the environmental management as wellas the possibility that ignorance to the law in addition to highlevel corruption. Effects of the toxic wastes led to health problemsexperienced by the locals including burns on the skin, eyes and lungsas well as diarrhoea, vomiting and ultimately, death (Voiceof America, 2009).Thus as such, the people who were affected in this crisis did nothave the power to be involved in the decision making procedures,rather, the people in high government positions as well as those withhigher socioeconomic status including a rich and powerful oil traderwere part and parcel of the decision making process.

Inthis case, the outcome of this dumping was not ethically optimalsince it led to the loss of lives and injuries of innocent civilianswho were exposed and this is in addition to the environmentaldegradation to the places where the disposal was made. With respectto the Port of Abidjan dumping, the ethically optimum outcome couldhave been achieved if the waste was disposed in a place that wascapable of dealing with the waste. The Netherlands in particular werecapable of providing advanced measures to deal with this waste albeitat a higher price. It was therefore unethical an unlawful for thistoxic substance to be disposed in a place without the necessaryconditions with the aim of saving money(Voice of America, 2009).


GreenPeace International. (2009, February 24). Wheredoes e-waste end up?Retrieved from Greenpeace:

Vidal,J. (2013, December 16). ToxicE-Waste Dumped in Poor Nations, Says United Nations.Retrieved from United Nations

Voiceof America. (2009, October 31). IvoryCoast Government Panel Releases Toxic Waste Findings.Retrieved from Voice of America: