E-Waste activists were on show in Barcelona in late February at the Mobile Phone Technology World Conference. Green NGO’s and E-Waste activists took the industry to task with a mural outside the conference that accused the tech industry of not doing enough to combat the problem of e-waste. The industry was accused by the NGO’s of poor design, built in obsolescence and a ‘desire to break culture’. E waste activism is not new the protests raised a number of points around the culture of making repairs to technology products difficult. The NGO’s were refused a platform at the conference, but the debate around the issue is unlikely to subside and
Latest figures released show that 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste is generated across the world annually – equivalent to almost 4.500 Eifel towers. Asia generated the largest amount of e-waste (18.2 million metric tonnes), followed by Europe (12.3 million metric tonnes), the America’s (11.3 million metric tonnes), Africa (2.2 million metric tonnes), and Oceania (0.7 million metric tonnes).
The potential value of the e-waste is estimated at $55 billion per annum if appropriate recycling processes were introduced. E-waste is claimed to be the fastest growing waste stream, accounting for 70% of the toxic wast in US landfills. A report recently published jointly by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), United Nations Univerysity (UNU) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) finds that most e-waste is not properly doucmented, and not treated through apporpriate recycling chains and methods.
Recycal has an experienced e-waste management team and in conjunction with its sister company CMA Ecocycle work together to handle and process Aluminium, Copper, Stainless Steel and Zinc, recovering the valuable metals for recycling and reuse. The group is committed to continue investment to ensure it stays a leader in this emerging Australian marketplace. E-waste is one of the highest growing segments in the recycling market.