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Global E-Waste Monitor Report

Every single material contains it's by product or after some time span, it itself becomes the product of no use, what we called is waste product. If this waste originate from electrical equipments then it is termed as e-waste or electronic waste. Basically, the discarded products by the owner constituting electronic appliances and gazettes are electronic wastes.

Electrical wastes are of various types, it consists of temperature exchange equipments like refrigerators, air conditioners etc ;screen monitors ; lamps ; large equipments like grinder machine, camera etc; small IT and Telecom equipments like USB, electronic chips, pen drives and wires.

These waste products are collected by various trends and treated in state-of-art facilities to draw up its hide potential and make it use for second time.

The major task behind the e-waste is to measure its flow. It is measured on the basis of empirical data and statistical routines. Relevant codes describes the amount of e-waste generated which is based on Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS),this data is extracted from UN comtrade database which is done for 175 countries. In Europe this data is calculated by Eurostate then calculated units are converted to weight using average weight data per appliance.

The internationally adopted measurement framework for e-waste statistics has been developed in context of partnership measuring development. Framework starts after equipment is sold then equipment spends its lifetime or residence time and after its use e-waste is generated. E-waste is then collected with different scenarios which depends on available practices of different countries.

There are four major scenarios in order to collect e-waste.

  • Official take back system- This is one of the best potential seeker trend of e-waste which comprises of municipalities, retailers, super markets, commercial pick up services to draw electronic waste to state-of art treatment facilities. The motive of State-of-art treatment is to reduce the negative aspects of e-waste by removing toxic components and materials which is done by pre-processing the waste by manual dismantling and mechanical separation. In order to make the separated waste useful, it is thoroughly refined and recycled and treated in over temperature to put off the generation of green house gases.
  • Around 40 percent of Europe follows this collection trend where in China and Japan 30 percent of this trend is working. Out of some purely developed countries like US and Australia this percentage is very low which is 12 and 1 respectively.
  • Household collection (Mixed Waste)-This general method of collection of waste products in which all type of waste whether it is e-waste or domestic waste is collected by municipal communities. This collection system has no impact in drifting up the e-waste potential because the final destination of collected waste is dumping yards which leads to the loss of hidden power of e-waste. According to 2014 report, in Europe 1-2 kg per habitat of e-waste goes in domestic dustbin and this collection is highest in Asia.
  • E-waste outside official take back system-This trend of collecting e-waste is generally seen in developed countries , collection is done by individual collectors or private companies where the waste go through specialized recycling and also exported to other countries. The system is purely not good it has some negative aspects too. The drawback of the system is, illegal dumping because many countries use to break the laws of Basel Convention which is meant to prevent developed countries from illegally dumping waste in developing countries where recycling infrastructure is typically absent. Nigeria and Ghana are out of those countries which are leading exporters.
  • Informal collection-This collection trend is majorly found in developing countries. This is done by the group of some self employed people who work for their living they buy waste and sell to refurbishers or recyclers. Limitations of this system are lack of legislation and perfection. The waste is treated in imperfect incinerators where emission of harmful gases, bleaching of metals and resource loss takes place and the residue is dumped inside soil which leads to the loss in richness of soil. The global quantity of e-waste registered in 2014 is 41.8 million tons out of which 6.5mt. is taken from official take back system ,0.7mt. is from waste bin and other is not known.

Most of the e-waste is generated in Asia which is 16mt. and 3.7 kg of each habitat. Highest per habitat e-waste quantity was generated by Europe and lowest e-waste generation was registered for Oceania and Africa in 2014.

E-waste is not just a waste it is full of lot of opportunities, it is a potential 'urban mine'. It consists of lot of precious metals like platinum, silicon, gold, mercury and many other recyclable products. Gold content from e-waste in 2014 is estimated roughly 300 tonnes, which represents 11 percent of global gold production from mines.
It is the matter of fact that treatment of e-waste is also the measure of development so it should be treated in resourceful, fruitful and impactful perspective.

Smriti Pranjal