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Different Solutions for E-waste Recycling
In the past years, the increasing amount of e-waste has been stuck. Every year, the
e-waste generated by different regions can reach 20,000,000 to 50,000,000 tons. Now its
amount accounts for over 5% of the global municipal solid waste. More than that, e-waste
also does great harm to human’s body. Not only do the developed countries make large
amounts of e-waste, the Asian countries each year also discard about 12,000,000 tons of
electronic waste. Different countries and regions have great difference in processing
e-waste because of various factors.
Domestic Practice for E-waste
Although e-waste contains a lot of toxic heavy metals and chemical substances and will
make threat to environment and human, at present,domestic practice is burying or burning
it as the common urban garbage. But, in fact, because of lack of concerned laws and with
the increasing amount of internal e-waste, the vast majority of e-wastes are being
purchased by illegal traders. After purchasing, they transport these e-wastes to the remote
towns like Guiyu to recycle the metal and other valuable parts from these wastes, totally
not considering the toxic material’s effect on local environment and the worker’s health.
Developed Countries’ Disposal Way
According to the estimate of USEPA, only in 2000, over 4.6 million e-waste are taken to
dumping area. Because of the great damage of this way, many European has prohibit it.
But there are still many countries and regions which don’t care about the effect on
environment and human at all. For example, in Hongkong, about 10-20% of the e-waste is
Reuse is a good way to lengthen the life of electronic products, therefore a large quantity
of e-wastes have been shipped to the developing country. Although the benefit of reusing
is obvious, it really brings many problems too. After being used temporarily, these
e-wasted are discarded again and dumped.
Recycle and Reproduction
Besides the toxic materials, e-waste also contains many recyclable materials. In
developed countries, e-waste is dismantled in professional factory with corresponding
supervision measures. But in developing countries, there are no such measures. Take
cable recycling for example. Many recyclers purchase wire granulator separator to
process while in many developing countries, they do it by hands.
Although it is against Basel Convention, e-waste stream often flows from the developed
countries to the developing countries. Only in UK, at least 23,000 tons e-waste was
shipped to Africa, India and China without declaration or through gray market in 2003.
Although Our country has forbidden this import in 2000, it didn’t really play its role. The
trade of e-waste in India from the developed countries is also increasing.