E-waste – when it turns into a healthy business

E-waste contains a number of toxic substances and cannot be treated as ordinary household waste. As a consequence e-waste is costly to get rid of. The high gate fees attract also less serious operators making a high profit when promising proper recycling but resulting in e-waste dumping and illegal trade.

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Ny bild (89) 1E-waste is a growing issue globally. The volumes of e-waste are enormous. The rapid growth and large volumes are a direct consequence of our intensified use and increasingly rapid replacement rates of electronic devices, such as mobile phones. As mentioned in the Business Week article The Complex Business of Recycling E-Waste, the US alone disposed last year (2012) 47 million computers, 27 million televisions, and 141 million mobile devices (EPA). There are a number of initiatives to give computers and mobile phones a second life expanding their life cycle. This is a good ambition but we should however not fool ourselves, as these devices eventually anyhow will become trash. But why is e-waste such an issue?

E-waste contains a number of toxic substances and cannot be treated as ordinary household waste. As a consequence e-waste is costly to get rid of. The high gate fees attract also…

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