E-Waste management - new recycling technologies & top trends to watch out for 2020
Wednesday, Mar 23, 2016

The global e-waste management market is anticipated to grow during the forecast period owing to the increasing amount of e-waste generated every year. The e-waste generated should be recycled or disposed properly to protect the environment and human beings from the harmful effects of toxic elements present in it. According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the amount of e-waste generated is estimated to increase between 5 to 10% annually. In 2011, the amount of e-waste recovered is approximately 5% of the total e-waste generated. Rest of the e-waste that is dumped without proper methods possesses threat to the environment as well as the human beings.

E-waste consists of all types of electrical and electronic equipment that are a part of the waste stream. TVs, computers, fridges, washing machines, mobile phones and others items with circulatory or electrical components with battery or power supply are also a part of e-waste. The system of establishing a value chain to ensure the collection, recycling and proper disposing of e-waste is called e-waste management system. According to 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) of waste management, the waste quantity should be reduced through smart procurement and good maintenance. Equipment that is functional should be reused by selling or donating. The equipment that cannot be repaired should be recycled.

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E-waste is different from municipal waste as it contains various hazardous metals. It also contains various precious and valuable metals. Some of the e-waste is very harmful to human being and the environment, if not disposed properly. For example, polyvinyl chloride cables (PVC) which are used for connectors and cables are very harmful, as they release dioxins on burning or when land filled. These dioxins have negative effects on human reproductive and immune systems. Some of the other toxic wastes presents in e-waste are mercury, beryllium and lead among others. These wastes can have adverse effects on the nervous system, brain and kidney.

The global e-waste management market can be segmented on the basis of the source of waste generation into domestic, IT and Telecom, consumer electronics and others. Domestic segment includes e-waste such as refrigerator, TVs and washing machine. North America and Europe are very sensitive to environment pollution. Hence these regions contribute most to the global e-waste management market.

Rapid technology development and replacement of equipment coupled with the migration from analogue to digital technologies have fueled the global e-waste market. New innovations in technology such as a shift from curved to flat screen TVs and monitors are also driving the global e-waste management market. Moreover, the economies of scale have given consumers advantages in term of prices, which has increased the demand of many electronic products such as mobile phones. This has also increased the amount of e-waste. The increasing amount of e-waste every year will provide a great opportunity to the e-waste management market. However, improper e-waste management system in several parts of the world is hampering the growth of the global e-waste management market.

Some of the key players in the global e-waste management market are Electronic Recyclers International, Inc., Sims Recycling Ltd., E-Waste Harvesters, Electronic Waste Management, E-Waste Systems, Inc., MRI (Australia) Pty Ltd., Desco Electronic Recyclers and Waste Management Inc. among others.

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