File Name: electrical and electronic waste a global environmental problem .zip
This chapter addresses the health and environmental risks associated with electronic waste e-waste from cradle to grave. The issues of e-waste generation, handling, disposal, and export to underdeveloped nations for reuse, recycling, and disposal are discussed.
- The World Has an E-Waste Problem
- Electronic Waste: A Growing Concern in Today's Environment
- Tackling e-waste
- Electronic Waste: The Dark Side of the High-Tech Revolution
The 20th century was marked by the impact of information and communications technology ICT on social and economic development. The digital revolution, started in the late s, led to explosive production of and extensive use of electronic and electrical equipment — one reason that has made the information society affordable.
A s a tech-hungry nation flush with cash gets ready to upgrade to the next generation of lightning-fast 5G devices, there is a surprising environmental cost to be reckoned with: a fresh mountain of obsolete gadgets. About 6 million lb. Pallets of once beloved but now outdated devices, like smartphones with only an 8-megapixel camera or tablets with a mere 12 GB of storage, arrive here daily. Workers with hammers hack at the bulkiest devices, while others remove dangerous components like lithium-ion batteries. The scene is like a twisted Pixar movie, with doomed gadgets riding an unrelenting conveyor belt into a machine that shreds them into piles of copper, aluminum and steel.
The World Has an E-Waste Problem
Khurrum S. Over the recent past, the global market of electrical and electronic equipment EEE has grown exponentially, while the lifespan of these products has become increasingly shorter. More of these products are ending up in rubbish dumps and recycling centers, posing a new challenge to policy makers. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the e-Waste problem and to put forward an estimation technique to calculate the growth of e-Waste. Over the past two decades, the global market of electrical and electronic equipment EEE continues to grow exponentially, while the lifespan of those products becomes shorter and shorter.
Therefore, business as well as waste management officials are facing a new challenge, and e-Waste or waste electrical and electronic equipment WEEE is receiving considerable amount of attention from policy makers.
Predictably, the number of electrical devices will continue to increase on the global scale, and microprocessors will be used in ever-increasing numbers in daily objects [ 1 , 2 ]. Meanwhile, in , more than 34 million TVs have been exposed in the market, and roughly 24 million PCs and million portable communication devices have been produced [ 4 ].
Furthermore, the growth rate is increasing every year [ 7 ]. Consequently, the volume of WEEE grows rapidly every year and is also believed to be one of the most critical waste disposal issues of the twenty-first century.
To be precise, United Nation University estimates that 20 to 50 tons of e-Waste is being generated per year worldwide [ 8 ] and suggests that there is an urgent need to develop an estimation technique [ 3 ].
Compared to conventional municipal wastes, certain components of electronic products contain toxic substances, which can generate a threat to the environment as well as to human health [ 9 , 10 ].
For instance, television and computer monitors normally contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, while nickel, beryllium, and zinc can often be found in circuit boards. Due to the presence of these substances, recycling and disposal of e-Waste becomes an important issue. Most people are unaware of the potential negative impact of the rapidly increasing use of computers, monitors, and televisions. When these products are placed in landfills or incinerated, they pose health risks due to the hazardous materials they contain.
The improper disposal of electronic products leads to the possibility of damaging the environment. As more e-Waste is placed in landfills, exposure to environmental toxins is likely to increase, resulting in elevated risks of cancer and developmental and neurological disorders. A major driver of the growing e-Waste problem is the short lifespan of most electronic products—less than two years for computers and cell phones [ 11 , 12 ].
In a report, the International Association of Electronics Recyclers projected that, with the current growth and obsolescence rates of the various categories of consumer electronics, somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 billion units would be scrapped by or an average of about million units a year. In this paper, we delineate the e-Waste problem and provide an estimation of the amount of e-Waste produced and recycled every year, our estimates lead us to believe that by the year , over million units will be disposed off and slightly over million units will be recycled.
The paper is organized as follows: in Section 1 we introduce and define the concept of e-Waste; Section 2 enumerates the current challenges and regulations related to e-Waste; Section 3 provides an estimation technique to calculate the amount of e-Waste created and recycled; Section 4 outlines a case from the Swiss system of how to manage and recycle e-Waste; Section 5 provides the summary and limitations of this study.
As a popular and informal term, electronic waste e-Waste is loosely refers to any white goods, consumer and business electronics, and information technology hardware that is in the end of its useful life. Specifically, Puckett et al. As there does not seem to be a standard definition for e-Waste, we have for the purposes of this paper adopted the definition offered by Sinha-Khetriwal et al.
Meanwhile, a list of prevalent definitions has been provided by Widmer et al. Widmer et al. Based on these concerns, many European countries banned e-Waste from landfills in the s [ 17 ]. Ming Hong et al. Furthermore, surveys have indicated that much exported US e-Waste is disposed of unsafely in developing countries, leaving an environmental and health problem in these regions [ 18 ].
The European Union has legislation requiring manufacturers to put in place e-Waste disposal mechanisms Wanjiku, [ 19 ]. Due to the difficulty and cost of recycling used electronics, as well as, lackluster enforcement of legislation regarding e-Waste exports, large amounts of digital discards are transported internationally from various industrialized countries to certain destinations where lower environmental standards and working conditions make processing e-Waste more profitable [ 17 ].
Impacts from those countries, especially Asia, have already been reported. Meanwhile, recycling and disposal of e-Waste are also growing in regions beyond Asia, particularly in certain African countries.
Force of an international accord, known as the Basel Convention, has banned the export of hazardous waste to poorer countries since , but the practice continues as pointed out by Chris Carroll Woodell, [ 9 , 10 ]. However, EU Commission estimates that anywhere between 25—75 percent of second-hand goods exported to Africa are broken and cannot be reused [ 20 ].
In many cases, the cost of recycling e-Waste exceeds the revenue recovered from materials especially in countries with strict environment regulations. Therefore, e-Waste mostly ends up dumped in countries where environmental standards are low or nonexistent and working conditions are poor.
Historically Asia has been a popular dumping ground, but as regulations have tightened in these countries, this trade has moved to other regions, particularly West Africa [ 22 ].
Most developing countries lack the waste removal infrastructure and technical capacities necessary to ensure the safe disposal of hazardous waste. And e-Waste has been linked to a variety of health problems in these countries, including cancer, neurological and respiratory disorders, and birth defects [ 23 ]. Therefore, the fight against illegal imports of WEEE has become one of the major challenges. From another perspective, some regulations, which have been established to handle e-Waste, are often limited since they exclude many hazardous substances that are used in electronics.
Moreover, many regulations simply fail to address the management of e-Waste. Osibanjo [ 24 ] states that in Africa, for example, there is a highly ineffective infrastructure for e-Waste management. More precisely, there is no well-established system for separation, sorting, storage, collection, transportation, and disposal of e-Waste. Even worse, there is little or no effective enforcement of regulations related to e-Waste management and disposal.
Under these circumstances, practical e-Waste management in Africa is unregulated, and rudimentary techniques are widely used. This value is not much especially considering the environmental and health costs of burning plastic, sending dioxin and other toxic gases into the air and the large volumes of worthless parts dumped in nearby landfills, allowing the remaining heavy metals to contaminate the area and harm life.
Most developing nations are lagging in the development of similar regulations and especially in their enforcement [ 25 ]. In most developed countries, legislations and policy guidelines have been developed and established in order to control the use of hazardous chemicals in those products, and the management of e-Waste after they are discarded. Among these, the most well known is European Union EU restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment RoHS Directive [ 26 ], which currently addresses only limited amount of hazardous chemicals commonly used in WEEE, including heavy metals of cadmium, lead, hexavalent chromium VI , and mercury and certain brominated flame retardants BFRs.
However, even with these regulations, all hazardous materials that are used in newly manufactured products cannot be fully controlled, and management of e-Waste within the supply chain cannot be fully addressed. According to one estimate, only 25 percent of the e-Waste in EU is properly collected [ 27 ]. And in the US this figure is even lower at only 20 percent [ 28 ].
Similar e-Waste legislation has been introduced in China and other countries as well. Meanwhile, several multinational collaboration agreements are currently taking shape to prohibit or limit the shipment of hazardous waste, including e-Waste, from industrialized to developing counties. Looking at South Africa as an example, there is no specific legislation currently to deal with e-Waste.
However, the new National Environmental Management Waste Bill includes implications for e-Waste management, aiming to reform waste management legislation in South Africa in order to protect public health and the environment [ 32 ]. Furthermore, a national waste information system is envisaged as well. EU is a good example of this. When it comes to e-Waste, recycling faces a number of challenges, including dealing with hazardous materials such as CRT glass and finding markets for flame-retardant plastics.
Furthermore, no technology currently exists for recycling certain EEE in an environmentally friendly manner. When thrown away, they either end up in landfills or incinerators or are exported to Asia. Table 1 enumerates a few places where e-waste ends up. The rest, more than 80 percent, was disposed of, largely in local landfills.
The hazardous materials in e-Waste can leach out of the landfills into groundwater and streams, and if the plastic components are burned, dioxins are emitted into the air [ 34 ].
Moreover, it is estimated that 50—80 percent of the e-Waste collected for recycling in the US is actually exported to developing countries, even though it is illegal for most of those countries to accept this toxic waste stream. Much of this illegally traded waste is going to the informal recycling sectors in many Asian and West African countries, where it is dismantled or disposed of using very primitive and toxic technologies [ 34 ]. On the other hand, cost is another big issue for e-Waste management.
Cost of logistics and transportation is a challenge faced by most recyclers, preventing the flow of waste volumes in the country. In order to predict the number of units and the tons of e-Waste for the targeted years, Microsoft Excel was used to apply linear regression technique.
Framework for modeling the product lifecycle is illustrated in Figure 1. For Phase 1, we assembled product sales data, as well as data on the average weight of products by year. The model considered product sales from through and predicted the annual quantity needing end-of-life EOL management through [ 35 ]. The modeling effort resulted in estimates of the quantity of products that are generated annually for EOL management. EOL management consists of recycling or disposal.
Recycling of consumer electronics includes the recovery of products by municipal and other collection programs for materials separation and recovery, as well as reuse in both domestic and foreign end markets.
It also includes businesses and institutions contracting directly with electronic recyclers for recycling services of their EOL equipment. Donation organizations also collect EOL electronic equipment for reuse or recycling. The reuse of consumer electronics before they enter the management system i. To estimate the portion of the estimated EOL electronics generated every year that is disposed, we subtracted the amount estimated to be recycled from the estimated amount generated for EOL management.
Table 2 includes the disposal estimates for through According to this analysis, During the time period through , even though the amount of material being recycled increased, the amount of EOL products generated kept pace such that the percentage of material being recycled remained relatively constant.
A larger gain in the recycling rate has been estimated for and Implementation of state electronics recovery and disposal regulations has provided a boost to the electronics recycling industry. The majority of EOL material that is not being recycled is probably mostly going into landfills [ 35 ]. Table 3 shows the prediction of EOL through As can be seen, EOL grows from a meager million units in to a For e-Waste management systems, some of the most successful examples can be found in countries such as Switzerland and the Netherlands [ 16 ].
Experience of the Swiss e-Waste management system is shown as an example in this paper. Generally, the Swiss e-Waste management system can be viewed as an ERP-based system, where each stakeholder has their own clear definition of role and responsibilities as shown in Table 4. As shown in Figure 2 , the solid black line indicates the material flow in the e-Waste management system.
In order to optimize the closed loop of material flow, raw materials are first converted into EEE products by manufacturers, then end-of-life products after going through retail and consumption are collected and recycled to produce new goods. Payments as well as recycling fees, shown as green and red lines, respectively, indicate financial flow of the system.
Then, ARF are passed down to retailers or distributors who invoice consumers for their purchase of new appliance. This ARF is used to pay for the whole e-Waste recycling system, including collection, distribution, dismantling, sorting, decontamination, and recycling of the disposed EEE products [ 16 ].
However, several pilot projects have been initiated in Africa to show that recycling can provide both employment opportunities for local communities and act as a step towards a sustainable solution for tackling e-Waste Wanjiku, [ 19 ].
Electronic Waste: A Growing Concern in Today's Environment
The production of electrical and electronic equipment EEE is one of the fastest growing global manufacturing activities. This development has resulted in an increase of waste electric and electronic equipment WEEE. Rapid economic growth, coupled with urbanization and growing demand for consumer goods, has increased both the consumption of EEE and the production of WEEE, which can be a source of hazardous wastes that pose a risk to the environment and to sustainable economic growth. To address potential environmental problems that could stem from improper management of WEEE, many countries and organizations have drafted national legislation to improve the reuse, recycling and other forms of material recovery from WEEE to reduce the amount and types of materials disposed in landfills. Recycling of waste electric and electronic equipment is important not only to reduce the amount of waste requiring treatment, but also to promote the recovery of valuable materials. EEE is diverse and complex with respect to the materials and components used and waste streams from the manufacturing processes.
Electronic waste or e-waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for refurbishment, reuse, resale, salvage recycling through material recovery, or disposal are also considered e-waste. Informal processing of e-waste in developing countries can lead to adverse human health effects and environmental pollution. Electronic scrap components, such as CPUs , contain potentially harmful materials such as lead , cadmium , beryllium , or brominated flame retardants. Recycling and disposal of e-waste may involve significant risk to health of workers and their communities.
Khurrum S. Over the recent past, the global market of electrical and electronic equipment EEE has grown exponentially, while the lifespan of these products has become increasingly shorter. More of these products are ending up in rubbish dumps and recycling centers, posing a new challenge to policy makers. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the e-Waste problem and to put forward an estimation technique to calculate the growth of e-Waste. Over the past two decades, the global market of electrical and electronic equipment EEE continues to grow exponentially, while the lifespan of those products becomes shorter and shorter. Therefore, business as well as waste management officials are facing a new challenge, and e-Waste or waste electrical and electronic equipment WEEE is receiving considerable amount of attention from policy makers.
The Global E-Waste Monitor reports a record 59 tons of e-waste, and predicts a rise to 81 tons by Even non-techies can be reliant on many pieces of technology as they navigate the day: Smartwatch, smartphone, earbuds, tablets, laptops, car charger, and more. And while there's the unicorn who proudly holds up their still-working iPhone 4, today's tech has a shelf life. As technology grows faster and less expensive, increasingly more people have any combination of tech gadgets.
Some of the work undertaken by UNU-Step included tracking global flows of e-waste, the Person-in-the-Port project in Nigeria, optimization of an e-waste dismantling facility in Ethiopia and the development of a tool to help gather information on volumes of e-waste generated within countries and exported to others. Managing the e-waste created by an increasing amount of computer and telecommunication equipment is important to the Ethiopian government, and many international partners have worked in Ethiopia to help address this concern. The project also strengthened the capacity of a demanufacturing facility to process e-waste in Addis Ababa.
With increasing population, excessive use of electrical and electronic products and extreme demand of resources have compelled the linear economy to transform into Circular Economy CE. In the current scenario, e-waste management has become the top priority of all the developed and developing nations especially those in the transition phase. The generation of e-waste has increased proportionally across the world and created an intense pressure on the firms to implement sustainable practices to redesign and recycle the products. The current status of the developing countries like India confronts number of challenges to manage e-waste produced, and the only possible solution is to minimize the waste generation and practicing recycling processes. For transforming into CEs, there is a need to identify the most influencing key enablers through which an effective and robust e-waste management e-WM system can be developed.
Хейл даже замер от неожиданности.
Electronic Waste: The Dark Side of the High-Tech Revolution
- С вами все в порядке. Мы уж думали, вы все погибли. Сьюзан посмотрела на него отсутствующим взглядом.
Все ждали, когда Соши откроет нужный раздел. - Вот, - сказала. - Стоп. - И быстро пробежала глазами информацию.
Существовал только один разумный путь - выключить. Чатрукьян знал и то, что выключить ТРАНСТЕКСТ можно двумя способами. Первый - с личного терминала коммандера, запертого в его кабинете, и он, конечно, исключался. Второй - с помощью ручного выключателя, расположенного в одном из ярусов под помещением шифровалки. Чатрукьян тяжело сглотнул. Он терпеть не мог эти ярусы.
Anon., () Profile Incineration in Europe, Report prepared by Juniper for ASSURE. sicm1.org Google Scholar.