E-waste Generation

E-waste Generation

 Source: The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 

 Scenario 1. E-waste formally collected

The “formal collection” activities usually fall under the requirements of national e-waste legislation, in which e-waste is collected by designated organizations, producers, and/or the government. This happens via retailers, municipal collection points, and/or pick-up services. The final destination for the collected e-waste is a specialized treatment facility, which recovers the valuable materials in an environmentally controlled way and manages the hazardous substances in an environmental sound way. Residuals will then go to incineration or controlled landfills.

Scenario 2. E-waste in the waste bins

In this scenario, the holder directly disposes of e-waste in normal waste bins with other types of household waste. As a consequence, the disposed of e-waste is then treated with the regular mixed-waste from households. This waste is most likely incinerated or landfilled without material recycling, depending on the waste management infrastructure in a country. Neither option is regarded as an appropriate technique for treating e-waste because both could potentially negatively impact the environment and lead to resource loss.

Scenario 3. E-waste collected outside of formal systems in countries with a developed (e-)waste management infrastructure

In countries that have developed waste management laws, e-waste is collected by individual waste dealers or companies and traded through various channels. Possible destinations for e-waste in this scenario include metal recycling and plastic recycling; however, the hazardous substances in e-waste are most likely not depolluted. In this scenario, e-waste is often not treated in a specialized recycling facility for e-waste management and e-waste might also be exported.

Scenario 4. E-waste collected outside of formal systems in countries with no developed (e-)waste management infrastructure

In most developing countries, a significant number of informally self-employed people are engaged in the collection and recycling of e-waste. The collection happens from door-to-door by buying or collecting used-EEE or e-waste from households, businesses, and public institutions. They sell it to be repaired, refurbished, or to be dismantled. Dismantlers manually break the equipment down into usable marketable components and materials. Recyclers burn, leach, and melt e-waste to convert it into secondary raw materials. This “backyard recycling” causes severe damage to the environment and human health. 

Follow: The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 

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