UN warns of surging e-waste, little recycling

UN warns of surging e-waste, little recycling

E-waste was projected to climb to 52.2 million tons in 2021, the study said.

The ITU defined e-waste broadly for the purposes of its report, including whiteware and electronic toys as well as the likes of laptops, televisions and computers.

Worldwide, about 20 per cent of the 44 million tons of e-waste produced past year was officially documented as being recycled, the ITU said.

The total value of all raw materials present in e-waste, including gold, is estimated to be worth around 55 billion euros ($64.6 billion) - more than most countries' national economies, it said.

According to the report, just 4% of e-waste produced in 2016 is known to have been discarded into landfills.

As we rely on more and more devices, there is the inevitable problem of producing electronic waste (e-waste). Europe (including Russia) closely followed with 16.6kg created per person.

Europe had the highest collection rates, at 35 percent.

The Americas generates 11.6 kg per inhabitant and collects only 17 per cent, comparable to the collection rate in Asia (15 per cent).

Lamps (ie. fluorescent lamps, high intensity discharge lamps, LED lamps).

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We are talking about the rich deposits of gold, silver, copper, platinum, palladium, lithium, cobalt, and other high-value recoverable materials in much of the e-waste being discarded, quite often, in an improper manner, in dumpsites or in incinerators, according to the report.

The report comes as the holiday season fast approaches. EEE sales in general showed rapid growth from 2000 to 2016, with the fastest growth recorded in emerging economies with low Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).

Over 1 million poor people in India are involved in manual recycling operations, but "most of these people have very low literacy levels with little awareness of the dangers of the operations", it added. More than eight in 10 people on Earth are covered by broadband signal and the population of 7.4 billion has 7.7 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions.

Some 3.6 billion people - close to half the world's population (45.9 per cent) now use the Internet, up from 20.5 per cent in 2007. The United States produces 14 percent of the world's e-waste and recycles less than 25 percent of it.

The annual amount of discarded mobile phones, laptops, electronic toys and other products will rise 17 per cent in the next five years, the United Nations agency estimates.

Needed: More recycling and global harmonized e-waste measurement and standardsThe report calls for stepped up global efforts to better design of components in electrical and electronic equipment to facilitate reuse and recycling (EEE), greater capture and recycling of old (EEE), and better tracking of e-waste and the resource recovery process.

Old technology is a awful e-waste of space.

India's electronics industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, it said while noting that the formal e-waste recycling sector in India is now being developed in major cities.