UN Environment: “It’s close to midnight on a Sunday and the skies of Lagos hang dark over the glittering lights of the city’s 17.5 million residents. One of those lights is small fire in a field in Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State, where 24-year-old John stands, tossing cables into the flames.

“I’ve been coming to this place for almost six years now, I like it because when I am here nobody disturbs me,” John says. He is one of the hundreds of informal ‘pickers’ who make a living scavenging saleable materials from the Odo-Iyalaro scrapyard, home to a thriving informal market for electronic waste. It’s the end of the weekend and he is burning plastic cables to access the copper wires at their core. The practice is illegal, but John is confident that the police won’t check the yard today, giving him precious time to build a store of metals he will sell the following morning.”

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