By Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Feb 22, 2010
The mighty mountains of hazardous electronic waste are growing by about 40 million tonnes a year globally. In China, India and South Africa, those mountains are expected to grow 200 to 500 percent in the next decade, a new report warns.
And that’s just from domestic sales of TVs, computers and cell phones. The figure doesn’t include millions of tonnes of e-waste that is exported, mostly illegally, into these countries.
Sales of electronic consumer goods are skyrocketing in emerging economies, but that is not matched by capabilities to properly collect and recycle such products, which contain both toxic and valuable materials, says the United Nations report, “Recycling – from E-Waste to Resources“.
It was released in Bali, Indonesia Monday at a meeting of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.
E-waste from discarded mobile phones will be about seven times higher than 2007 levels in China by 2020. In India, the mobile phone e-waste mountain will be 18 times higher. At the same time, e-waste from televisions will be 1.5 to 2.0 times higher in China and India, while in India e-waste from discarded refrigerators will double or triple, the landmark report states. Continue reading