The consumption of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) is strongly linked to overall global economic development. EEE has become indispensable in modern societies and is enhancing living standards. Still, its production and usage can be very resource demanding, as such also illustrates a counter to that improvement in living standards. On average, the total weight (excluding photovoltaic panels) of global EEE consumption increases annually by 2.5 million metric tons (Mt). After its use, EEE is disposed of, generating a waste stream that contains hazardous and valuable materials. This waste stream is referred to as e-waste, or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). In 2019, the world generated a striking 53.6 Mt of e-waste, an average of 7.3 kg per capita. The global generation of e-waste grew by 9.2 Mt since 2014 and is projected to grow to 74.7 Mt by 2030 – almost doubling in only 16 years. The growing amount of e-waste is mainly fueled by higher consumption rates of EEE, short life cycles, and few repair options.
In 2019, the formal documented collection and recycling was 9.3 Mt, thus 17.4% compared to e-waste generated. It grew with 1.8 Mt since 2014, an annual growth of almost 0.4 Mt. However, the total e-waste generation increased by 9.2 Mt, with an annual growth of nearly 2 Mt. Thus the recycling activities are not keeping pace with the global expansion of e-waste. The statistics show that in 2019, the continent with the highest collection and recycling rate was Europe with 42.5%, Asia ranked second at 11.7%, the Americas and Oceania were similar at 9.4% and 8.8%, respectively, and Africa had the lowest rate at 0.9%
The underlying reasons for the growth in e-waste volumes in Australia are a complex mixture of changing patterns of demand. Divya George , Technical Specialist – Cyber Recycling says, it is such as the centralisation of digital technology to modern workplaces and consumer habits. The cumulative volume of televisions and computers reaching the end of their useful life is expected to reach 181,000 tonnes or 44 million units by 2027-28. She continues, Rapid innovation in both existing and new electronics, partly stimulated by innovative features being a key differentiator and marketing strategy for consumer products. Consumers are discarding their electronic products more frequently to ensure they have the ‘latest’ product.
E-waste has a negative impact on our environment and is putting pressure on limited landfill capacity in Australia and around the world. Electronic technology includes toxic and harmful materials that, to date have not been disposed of efficiently or safely. Treating e-waste correctly will help minimise pollution, protect our environment and reduce our carbon footprint.Many of the materials that make up electronic technology can be recycled for other uses. For example, 90% of the materials in a mobile phone handset can be recovered and reused. Sixty per cent to 90% of future greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided by using these recycled materials.
If you would like to learn more startling facts about e-waste recycling, then please visit our website, www.cyberrecycling.com.au. We are Western Australia’s most reputable electronic recycling company and provides an end-to-end e-waste recycling solution for electrical and electronic items. Our recycling plant facilities utilize disruptive technology to extract reusable goods in an environmentally friendly way.
While we provide recycling for organizations and businesses, we also provide collections and logistical support, online reporting, and data destruction services as well.