THE pervasive smell of scorched metal and burnt plastic hangs in the air.
Toxic smoke wreaths the workers' faces.
And children there live with the risk of lead poisoning, which can cause brain damage.
Welcome to the Chinese town of Guiyu, in Guangdong province.
It can be considered the graveyard of Christmas past, for it is where many presents - game consoles, laptops, handphones - go to die, reported TheDaily Telegraph.
That large quantities of E-waste finds their way to Guiyu - despite a ban on the trade in China - is alarming.
But what is of more worry is that it is where electronic goods are 'reborn'.
Old items are taken apart, melted down, washed in acid and re-used.
And it is done inside and outside shack-like workshops, where men and women sit in front of coal fires, burning circuits boards and melting their solders so that components can be scraped off and re-used.
The result? Health problems among workers and residents.
One worker, Wang Qing, who was seen heating a circuit board over an open fire, works without a face-mask because she does not like wearing one and said her boss does not insist on one.
She said: 'I get headaches all the time, and suffer a lot of colds.'
She earns about ?100 ($289) a month, considered a decent salary inChina.
In the streets, scrap pieces of electronic components pile up.
Effluent fills the black streams that criss-cross the town and which many residents get their water from for activities like washing.
Many of the pollutants in the water are from the acid baths in which components are washed.
Children continue to play openly in the 'highly-contaminated environment', said the report, and many are being 'clinically poisoned'.
A study at nearby Shantou University found that of
165 children aged between 1 and 6 in Guiyu, 135 or 82 per cent had clinical lead poisoning, which can cause brain damage.
The European Union has banned exports of E-waste and the trade is supposedly banned in China itself.
However, when the Telegraph reporter visited the town, he found evidence of the continuing trade.
According to his report, labels on items showed that material had been sent from EU countries such as Austria and from the US, where the trade in such products is still legal.
Guiyu is not China's only recycling city.
Further south is Panyu, which specialises in plastic bags.
And further north is Taizhou, which takes plastic bottles and melts them down into pellets.
This article was first published in The New Paper on Dec 28