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Electronic waste

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Electronic waste, e-waste, e-scrap, or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. There is a lack of consensus as to whether the term should apply to resale, reuse, and refurbishing industries, or only to product that cannot be used for its intended purpose. Informal processing of electronic waste in developing countries may cause serious health and pollution problems, though these countries are also most likely to reuse and repair electronics. Some electronic scrap components, such as CRTs, may contain contaminants such as lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, cadmium
Cadmium
Cadmium is a chemical element with the symbol Cd and atomic number 48. This soft, bluish-white metal is chemically similar to the two other stable metals in group 12, zinc and mercury. Similar to zinc, it prefers oxidation state +2 in most of its compounds and similar to mercury it shows a low...

, beryllium
Beryllium
Beryllium is the chemical element with the symbol Be and atomic number 4. It is a divalent element which occurs naturally only in combination with other elements in minerals. Notable gemstones which contain beryllium include beryl and chrysoberyl...

, or brominated flame retardants. Even in developed countries recycling and disposal of e-waste may involve significant risk to workers and communities and great care must be taken to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operations and leaching of material such as heavy metals from landfill
Landfill
A landfill site , is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial and is the oldest form of waste treatment...

s and incinerator ashes. Scrap industry and USA EPA officials agree that materials should be managed with caution, but many believe that environmental dangers of used electronics have been exaggerated.

Definitions



"Electronic waste" may be defined as discarded computers, office electronic equipment, entertainment device electronics
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

, mobile phones, television set
Television set
A television set is a device that combines a tuner, display, and speakers for the purpose of viewing television. Television sets became a popular consumer product after the Second World War, using vacuum tubes and cathode ray tube displays...

s and refrigerator
Refrigerator
A refrigerator is a common household appliance that consists of a thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump that transfers heat from the inside of the fridge to its external environment so that the inside of the fridge is cooled to a temperature below the ambient temperature of the room...

s. This definition includes used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal. Others define the re-usables (working and repairable electronics) and secondary scrap (copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

, plastic
Plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

, etc.) to be "commodities", and reserve the term "waste" for residue or material which is dumped by the buyer rather than recycled, including residue from reuse and recycling operations. Because loads of surplus electronics are frequently commingled (good, recyclable, and non-recyclable), several public policy advocates apply the term "e-waste" broadly to all surplus electronics. Cathode ray tube
Cathode ray tube
The cathode ray tube is a vacuum tube containing an electron gun and a fluorescent screen used to view images. It has a means to accelerate and deflect the electron beam onto the fluorescent screen to create the images. The image may represent electrical waveforms , pictures , radar targets and...

s (CRT) are considered one of the hardest types to recycle. CRTs have relatively high concentration of lead and phosphors (not phosphorus), both of which are necessary for the display. The United States Environmental Protection Agency
United States Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress...

 (EPA) includes discarded CRT monitors in its category of "hazardous household waste" but considers CRTs that have been set aside for testing to be commodities if they are not discarded, speculatively accumulated, or left unprotected from weather and other damage.

Debate continues over the distinction between "commodity" and "waste" electronics definitions. Some exporters are accused of deliberately leaving difficult-to-recycle, obsolete, or non-repairable equipment mixed in loads of working equipment (though this may also come through ignorance, or to avoid more costly treatment processes). Protectionists may broaden the definition of "waste" electronics in order to protect domestic markets from working secondary equipment. The high value of the computer recycling
Computer recycling
Computer recycling or electronic recycling is the recycling or reuse of computers or other electronics. It includes both finding another use for materials , and having systems dismantled in a manner that allows for the safe extraction of the constituent materials for reuse in other...

 subset of electronic waste (working and reusable laptops, desktops, and components like RAM
Ram
-Animals:*Ram, an uncastrated male sheep*Ram cichlid, a species of freshwater fish endemic to Colombia and Venezuela-Military:*Battering ram*Ramming, a military tactic in which one vehicle runs into another...

) can help pay the cost of transportation for a larger number of worthless pieces than can be achieved with display devices, which have less (or negative) scrap value. In A 2011 Report, "Ghana E-Waste Country Assessment", found that of 215,000 tons of electronics imported to Ghana, 30% were brand new and 70% were used. Of the used product, the study concluded that 15% was not reused and was scrapped or discarded. This contrasts with published but uncredited claims that 80% of the imports into Ghana were being burned in primitive conditions.

Problems


Rapid changes in technology, changes in media (tapes, software, MP3), falling prices, and planned obsolescence
Planned obsolescence
Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of deliberately planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete or nonfunctional after a certain period of time...

 have resulted in a fast-growing surplus of electronic waste around the globe. Dave Kruch, CEO of Cash For Laptops
Cash For Laptops
Cash For Laptops is a laptop recycling company in Sparks, Nevada, that claims to be the first company to offer to buy used laptops online, in 2001...

, regards electronic waste as a "rapidly expanding" issue. Technical solutions are available, but in most cases a legal framework, a collection system, logistics, and other services need to be implemented before a technical solution can be applied. Display units (CRT, LCD, LED monitors), Processors (CPU chips, RAM), and audio components have different useful lives. Processors are most frequently outdated (by software) and are more likely to become "e-waste", while display units are most often replaced while working without repair attempts, due to changes in wealthy nation appetites for new display technology.

An estimated 50 million tons of E-waste are produced each year . The USA discards 30 million computers each year and 100 million phones are disposed of in Europe each year. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only 15-20% of e-waste is recycled, the rest of these electronics go directly into landfills and incinerators..

According to a report by UNEP titled, "Recycling - from E-Waste to Resources," the amount of e-waste being produced - including mobile phones and computers - could rise by as much as 500 percent over the next decade in some countries, such as India. The United States is the world leader in producing electronic waste, tossing away about 3 million tons each year. China already produces about 2.3 million tons (2010 estimate) domestically, second only to the United States. And, despite having banned e-waste imports, China remains a major e-waste dumping ground for developed countries.

Electrical waste contains hazardous but also valuable and scarce materials. Up to 60 elements can be found in complex electronics.

In the United States, an estimated 70% of heavy metals in landfills comes from discarded electronics.

While there is agreement that the number of discarded electronic devices is increasing, there is considerable disagreement about the relative risk (compared to automobile scrap, for example), and strong disagreement whether curtailing trade in used electronics will improve conditions, or make them worse. According to an article in Motherboard, attempts to restrict the trade have driven reputable companies out of the supply chain, with unintended consequences.

Global trade issues




One theory is that increased regulation of electronic waste and concern over the environmental harm in mature economies creates an economic disincentive to remove residues prior to export. Critics of trade in used electronics maintain that it is too easy for brokers calling themselves recyclers to export unscreened electronic waste to developing countries, such as China, India and parts of Africa, thus avoiding the expense of removing items like bad cathode ray tubes (the processing of which is expensive and difficult). The developing countries are becoming big dump yards of e-waste. Proponents of international trade point to the success of fair trade
Fair trade
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as higher social and environmental standards...

 programs in other industries, where cooperation has led creation of sustainable jobs, and can bring affordable technology in countries where repair and reuse rates are higher.

Defenders of the trade in used electronics say that extraction of metals from virgin mining has also been shifted to developing countries. Hard-rock mining of copper, silver, gold and other materials extracted from electronics is considered far more environmentally damaging than the recycling of those materials. They also state that repair and reuse of computers and televisions has become a "lost art" in wealthier nations, and that refurbishing has traditionally been a path to development. South Korea, Taiwan, and southern China all excelled in finding "retained value" in used goods, and in some cases have set up billion-dollar industries in refurbishing used ink cartridges, single-use cameras, and working CRTs. Refurbishing has traditionally been a threat to established manufacturing, and simple protectionism explains some criticism of the trade. Works like "The Waste Makers" by Vance Packard
Vance Packard
Vance Packard was an American journalist, social critic, and author.- Life and career :He was born in Granville Summit, Pennsylvania to parents Philip J. Packard and Mabel Case Packard...

 explain some of the criticism of exports of working product, for example the ban on import of tested working Pentium 4
Pentium 4
Pentium 4 was a line of single-core desktop and laptop central processing units , introduced by Intel on November 20, 2000 and shipped through August 8, 2008. They had a 7th-generation x86 microarchitecture, called NetBurst, which was the company's first all-new design since the introduction of the...

 laptops to China, or the bans on export of used surplus working electronics by Japan.

Opponents of surplus electronics exports argue that lower environmental and labor standards, cheap labor, and the relatively high value of recovered raw materials leads to a transfer of pollution-generating activities, such as burning of copper wire. In China, Malaysia, India, Kenya, and various African countries, electronic waste is being sent to these countries for processing, sometimes illegally. Many surplus laptops are routed to developing nations as "dumping grounds for e-waste". Because the United States has not ratified the Basel Convention
Basel Convention
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known simply as the Basel Convention, is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of...

 or its Ban Amendment, and has no domestic laws forbidding the export of toxic waste, the Basel Action Network
Basel Action Network
The Basel Action Network is an non-governmental charitable organization working to combat the export of toxic waste, toxic technology and toxic products from industrialized societies to developing countries. BAN operates globally but is based in Seattle, Washington, United States, with a partner...

 estimates that about 80% of the electronic waste directed to recycling in the U.S. does not get recycled there at all, but is put on container ship
Container ship
Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their load in truck-size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. They form a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport.-History:...

s and sent to countries such as China. This figure is disputed as an exaggeration by the EPA, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries is a private, non-profit trade association representing nearly 1,500 private and public for-profit companies – ranging from small, family-owned businesses to multi-national corporations -- operating at more than 6,000 facilities in the United States and...

, and the World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association
World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association
The World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association is a business consortium dedicated to the reform of the trade of e-waste. The WR3A is inspired by fair trade organizations.-History:...

. Independent research by Arizona State University showed that 87-88% of imported used computers did not have a higher value than the best value of the constituent materials they contained, and that "the official trade in end-of-life computers is thus driven by reuse as opposed to recycling".

Guiyu in the Shantou
Shantou
Shantou , historically known as Swatow or Suátao, is a prefecture-level city on the eastern coast of Guangdong province, People's Republic of China, with a total population of 5,391,028 as of 2010 and an administrative area of...

 region of China, Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 and Bangalore
Bangalore
Bengaluru , formerly called Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore is nicknamed the Garden City and was once called a pensioner's paradise. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city and...

 in India as well as the Agbogbloshie
Agbogbloshie
Agbogbloshie is a suburb of Accra, Ghana known as a destination for legal and illegal exportation andenvironmental dumping of electronic waste from industrialized nations. Often referred to as a "digital dumping ground", millions of tons of e-waste are processed each year in Agbogbloshie...

 site near Accra
Accra
Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with an urban population of 1,658,937 according to the 2000 census. Accra is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous...

, Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

 have electronic waste processing areas. Uncontrolled burning, disassembly, and disposal causes a variety of environmental problems such as groundwater contamination, atmospheric pollution, or even water pollution
Water pollution
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies . Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds....

 either by immediate discharge or due to surface runoff
Surface runoff
Surface runoff is the water flow that occurs when soil is infiltrated to full capacity and excess water from rain, meltwater, or other sources flows over the land. This is a major component of the water cycle. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called a nonpoint source...

 (especially near coastal areas), as well as health problems including occupational safety and health
Occupational safety and health
Occupational safety and health is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. The goal of all occupational safety and health programs is to foster a safe work environment...

 effects among those directly and indirectly involved, due to the methods of processing the waste. Thousands of men, women, and children are employed in highly polluting, primitive recycling technologies, extracting the metals, toners, and plastics from computers and other electronic waste. Recent studies show that 7 out of 10 children in this region have too much lead in their blood.

Proponents of the trade say growth of internet access is a stronger correlation to trade than poverty. Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 is poor and closer to the port of New York
Port of New York and New Jersey
The Port of New York and New Jersey comprises the waterways in the estuary of the New York-Newark metropolitan area with a port district encompassing an approximate area within a radius of the Statue of Liberty National Monument...

 than southeast Asia, but far more electronic waste is exported from New York to Asia than to Haiti. Thousands of men, women, and children are employed in reuse, refurbishing, repair, and remanufacturing, unsustainable industries in decline in developed countries. Denying developing nations access to used electronics may deny them sustainable employment, affordable products, and internet access, or force them to deal with even less scrupulous suppliers. In a series of seven articles for The Atlantic, Shanghai-based reporter Adam Minter describes many of these computer repair and scrap separation activities as objectively sustainable.

Opponents of the trade argue that developing countries utilize methods that are more harmful and more wasteful. An expedient and prevalent method is simply to toss equipment onto an open fire, in order to melt plastics and to burn away unvaluable metals. This releases carcinogen
Carcinogen
A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes...

s and neurotoxins into the air, contributing to an acrid, lingering smog
Smog
Smog is a type of air pollution; the word "smog" is a portmanteau of smoke and fog. Modern smog is a type of air pollution derived from vehicular emission from internal combustion engines and industrial fumes that react in the atmosphere with sunlight to form secondary pollutants that also combine...

. These noxious fumes include dioxins and furan
Furan
Furan is a heterocyclic organic compound, consisting of a five-membered aromatic ring with four carbon atoms and one oxygen. The class of compounds containing such rings are also referred to as furans....

s. Bonfire refuse can be disposed of quickly into drainage ditches or waterways feeding the ocean or local water supplies.

In June 2008, a container of electronic waste, destined from the Port of Oakland
Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland was the first major port on the Pacific Coast of the United States to build terminals for container ships. It is now the fifth busiest container port in the United States, behind Long Beach, Los Angeles, Newark, and Savannah...

 in the U.S. to Sanshui District in mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

, was intercepted in Hong Kong by Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

. Concern over exports of electronic waste were raised in press reports in India, Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

.

Recycling



Today the electronic waste recycling business is in all areas of the developed world
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

 a large and rapidly consolidating business. Part of this evolution has involved greater diversion of electronic waste from energy-intensive downcycling processes (e.g., conventional recycling), where equipment is reverted to a raw material form. This diversion is achieved through reuse and refurbishing. The environmental and social benefits of reuse include diminished demand for new products and virgin raw materials (with their own environmental issues); larger quantities of pure water and electricity for associated manufacturing; less packaging per unit; availability of technology to wider swaths of society due to greater affordability of products; and diminished use of landfills.

Audiovisual components, televisions, VCRs
Videocassette recorder
The videocassette recorder , is a type of electro-mechanical device that uses removable videocassettes that contain magnetic tape for recording analog audio and analog video from broadcast television so that the images and sound can be played back at a more convenient time...

, stereo equipment
Sound recording and reproduction
Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical or mechanical inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording...

, mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

s, other handheld devices, and computer components
Computer hardware
Personal computer hardware are component devices which are typically installed into or peripheral to a computer case to create a personal computer upon which system software is installed including a firmware interface such as a BIOS and an operating system which supports application software that...

 contain valuable elements and substances suitable for reclamation, including lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, and gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

.

One of the major challenges is recycling the printed circuit boards from the electronic wastes. The circuit boards contain such precious metals as gold, silver, platinum, etc. and such base metals as copper, iron, aluminum, etc. Conventional method employed is mechanical shredding and separation but the recycling efficiency is low. Alternative methods such as cryogenic decomposition have been studied for printed circuit board recycling, and some other methods are still under investigation.

Consumer awareness efforts

  • AddressTheMess.com is a Comedy Central
    Comedy Central
    Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel that carries comedy programming, both original and syndicated....

     pro-social campaign that seeks to increase awareness of the dangers of electronic waste and to encourage recycling. Partners in the effort include Earth911.com, ECOInternational.com, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Many Comedy Central viewers are early adopters of new electronics, and produce a commensurate amount of waste that can be directed towards recycling efforts. The station is also taking steps to reduce its own environmental impact, in partnership with NativeEnergy.com, a company that specializes in renewable energy
    Renewable energy
    Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

     and carbon offsets.
  • The Electronics TakeBack Coalition http://www.electronicstakeback.com is a campaign aimed at protecting human health and limiting environmental effects where electronics are being produced, used, and discarded. The ETBC aims to place responsibility for disposal of technology products on electronic manufacturers and brand owners, primarily through community promotions and legal enforcement initiatives. It provides recommendations for consumer recycling and a list of recyclers judged environmentally responsible.
  • The CERTIFIED ELECTRONICS RECYCLER® program http://www.certifiedelectronicsrecycler.com for electronic recyclers is a comprehensive, integrated management system standard that incorporates key operational and continual improvement elements for quality, environmental and health and safety (QEH&S) performance.
  • The grassroots Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
    Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
    The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition , is a San Jose, California based research and advocacy group that promotes safe environmental practices in the high tech industry...

     (svtc.org) focuses on promoting human health and addresses environmental justice problems resulting from toxins in technologies.
  • Basel Action Network
    Basel Action Network
    The Basel Action Network is an non-governmental charitable organization working to combat the export of toxic waste, toxic technology and toxic products from industrialized societies to developing countries. BAN operates globally but is based in Seattle, Washington, United States, with a partner...

     (BAN.org) is uniquely focused on addressing global environmental injustices and economic inefficiency of global "toxic trade". It works for human rights and the environment by preventing disproportionate dumping on a large scale. It promotes sustainable solutions and attempts to ban waste trade.
  • Texas Campaign for the Environment
    Texas Campaign for the Environment
    The Texas Campaign for the Environment is a grassroots advocacy 501 Non-profit organization that works on health and environmental issues in the state of Texas in the United States. TCE began when its founders parted ways with Texans United in 1991...

     (texasenvironment.org) works to build grassroots support for e-waste recycling and uses community organizing to pressure electronics manufacturers and elected officials to enact producer takeback recycling policies and commit to responsible recycling programs.
  • The World Reuse, Repair, and Recycling Association (wr3a.org) is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of exported electronics, encouraging better recycling standards in importing countries, and improving practices through "Fair Trade" principles.
  • Take Back My TV is a project of The Electronics TakeBack Coalition and grades television manufacturers to find out which are responsible and which are not.

Processing techniques


In developed countries, electronic waste processing usually first involves dismantling the equipment into various parts (metal frames, power supplies, circuit boards, plastics), often by hand, but increasingly by automated shredding equipment. A typical example is the NADIN electronic waste processing plant in Novi Iskar
Novi Iskar
Novi Iskar is a town in western Bulgaria, located in Sofia City Province and the Capital Municipality. It is often regarded as a suburb of Sofia and lies in the northern part of the Sofia Valley, with the Iskar Gorge beginning just north of the town.Novi Iskar was formed through the merging of...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 -- the largest facility of its kind in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. The advantages of this process are the human's ability to recognize and save working and repairable parts, including chips, transistors, RAM, etc. The disadvantage is that the labor is cheapest in countries with the lowest health and safety standards.

In an alternative bulk system, a hopper conveys material for shredding into an unsophisticated mechanical separator, with screening and granulating machines to separate constituent metal and plastic fractions, which are sold to smelters or plastics recyclers. Such recycling machinery is enclosed and employs a dust collection system
Dust collection system
A dust collection system is an air quality improvement system used in industrial, commercial, and home production shops to improve breathable air quality and safety by removing particulate matter from the air and environment. Dust collection systems work on the basic formula of CAPTURE, CONVEY and...

. Some of the emissions are caught by scrubbers and screens. Magnets, eddy currents
Eddy current separator
An eddy current separator uses a powerful magnetic field to separate metals from non-metals in garbage. The device makes use of eddy currents to effect the separation....

, and trommel
Trommel
A trommel is a screened cylinder used to separate materials by size - for example, separating the biodegradable fraction of mixed municipal waste or separating different sizes of crushed stone....

 screens are employed to separate glass, plastic, and ferrous
Ferrous
Ferrous , in chemistry, indicates a divalent iron compound , as opposed to ferric, which indicates a trivalent iron compound ....

 and nonferrous metals, which can then be further separated at a smelter. Leaded glass from CRTs is reused in car batteries, ammunition, and lead wheel weights, or sold to foundries as a fluxing agent
Flux (metallurgy)
In metallurgy, a flux , is a chemical cleaning agent, flowing agent, or purifying agent. Fluxes may have more than one function at a time...

 in processing raw lead ore. Copper, gold, palladium, silver and tin are valuable metals sold to smelters for recycling. Hazardous smoke and gases are captured, contained and treated to mitigate environmental threat. These methods allow for safe reclamation of all valuable computer construction materials. Hewlett-Packard product recycling solutions manager Renee St. Denis describes its process as: "We move them through giant shredders about 30 feet tall and it shreds everything into pieces about the size of a quarter. Once your disk drive is shredded into pieces about this big, it's hard to get the data off".

An ideal electronic waste recycling plant combines dismantling for component recovery with increased cost-effective processing of bulk electronic waste.

Reuse is an alternative option to recycling because it extends the lifespan of a device. Devices still need eventual recycling, but by allowing others to purchase used electronics, recycling can be postponed and value gained from device use.

Benefits of Recycling


Recycling raw materials from end-of-life electronics is the most effective solution to the growing e-waste problem. Most electronic devices contain a variety of materials, including metals that can be recovered for future uses. By dismantling and providing reuse possibilities, intact natural resources are conserved and air and water pollution caused by hazardous disposal is avoided. Additionally, recycling reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the manufacturing of new products. It simply makes good sense and is efficient to recycle and to do our part to keep the environment green.

Electronic waste substances


Some computer components can be reused in assembling new computer products, while others are reduced to metals that can be reused in applications as varied as construction, flatware, and jewelry.

Substances found in large quantities include epoxy resins, fiberglass
Fiberglass
Glass fiber is a material consisting of numerous extremely fine fibers of glass.Glassmakers throughout history have experimented with glass fibers, but mass manufacture of glass fiber was only made possible with the invention of finer machine tooling...

, PCBs, PVC
PVC
Polyvinyl chloride is a plastic.PVC may also refer to:*Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military honor*Peripheral venous catheter, a small, flexible tube placed into a peripheral vein in order to administer medication or fluids...

 (polyvinyl chlorides), thermosetting plastics, lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, tin
Tin
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, silicon
Silicon
Silicon is a chemical element with the symbol Si and atomic number 14. A tetravalent metalloid, it is less reactive than its chemical analog carbon, the nonmetal directly above it in the periodic table, but more reactive than germanium, the metalloid directly below it in the table...

, beryllium
Beryllium
Beryllium is the chemical element with the symbol Be and atomic number 4. It is a divalent element which occurs naturally only in combination with other elements in minerals. Notable gemstones which contain beryllium include beryl and chrysoberyl...

, carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

, iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 and aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

.

Elements found in small amounts include cadmium
Cadmium
Cadmium is a chemical element with the symbol Cd and atomic number 48. This soft, bluish-white metal is chemically similar to the two other stable metals in group 12, zinc and mercury. Similar to zinc, it prefers oxidation state +2 in most of its compounds and similar to mercury it shows a low...

, mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

, and thallium
Thallium
Thallium is a chemical element with the symbol Tl and atomic number 81. This soft gray poor metal resembles tin but discolors when exposed to air. The two chemists William Crookes and Claude-Auguste Lamy discovered thallium independently in 1861 by the newly developed method of flame spectroscopy...

.

Elements found in trace amounts include americium
Americium
Americium is a synthetic element that has the symbol Am and atomic number 95. This transuranic element of the actinide series is located in the periodic table below the lanthanide element europium, and thus by analogy was named after another continent, America.Americium was first produced in 1944...

, antimony
Antimony
Antimony is a toxic chemical element with the symbol Sb and an atomic number of 51. A lustrous grey metalloid, it is found in nature mainly as the sulfide mineral stibnite...

, arsenic
Arsenic
Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As, atomic number 33 and relative atomic mass 74.92. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in conjunction with sulfur and metals, and also as a pure elemental crystal. It was first documented by Albertus Magnus in 1250.Arsenic is a metalloid...

, barium
Barium
Barium is a chemical element with the symbol Ba and atomic number 56. It is the fifth element in Group 2, a soft silvery metallic alkaline earth metal. Barium is never found in nature in its pure form due to its reactivity with air. Its oxide is historically known as baryta but it reacts with...

, bismuth
Bismuth
Bismuth is a chemical element with symbol Bi and atomic number 83. Bismuth, a trivalent poor metal, chemically resembles arsenic and antimony. Elemental bismuth may occur naturally uncombined, although its sulfide and oxide form important commercial ores. The free element is 86% as dense as lead...

, boron
Boron
Boron is the chemical element with atomic number 5 and the chemical symbol B. Boron is a metalloid. Because boron is not produced by stellar nucleosynthesis, it is a low-abundance element in both the solar system and the Earth's crust. However, boron is concentrated on Earth by the...

, cobalt
Cobalt
Cobalt is a chemical element with symbol Co and atomic number 27. It is found naturally only in chemically combined form. The free element, produced by reductive smelting, is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal....

, europium
Europium
Europium is a chemical element with the symbol Eu and atomic number 63. It is named after the continent of Europe. It is a moderately hard silvery metal which readily oxidizes in air and water...

, gallium
Gallium
Gallium is a chemical element that has the symbol Ga and atomic number 31. Elemental gallium does not occur in nature, but as the gallium salt in trace amounts in bauxite and zinc ores. A soft silvery metallic poor metal, elemental gallium is a brittle solid at low temperatures. As it liquefies...

, germanium
Germanium
Germanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ge and atomic number 32. It is a lustrous, hard, grayish-white metalloid in the carbon group, chemically similar to its group neighbors tin and silicon. The isolated element is a semiconductor, with an appearance most similar to elemental silicon....

, gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, indium
Indium
Indium is a chemical element with the symbol In and atomic number 49. This rare, very soft, malleable and easily fusible post-transition metal is chemically similar to gallium and thallium, and shows the intermediate properties between these two...

, lithium
Lithium
Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. It is represented by the symbol Li, and it has the atomic number 3. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly...

, manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

, nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

, niobium
Niobium
Niobium or columbium , is a chemical element with the symbol Nb and atomic number 41. It's a soft, grey, ductile transition metal, which is often found in the pyrochlore mineral, the main commercial source for niobium, and columbite...

, palladium
Palladium
Palladium is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Pd and an atomic number of 46. It is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston. He named it after the asteroid Pallas, which was itself named after the epithet of the Greek goddess Athena, acquired...

, platinum
Platinum
Platinum is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Pt and an atomic number of 78. Its name is derived from the Spanish term platina del Pinto, which is literally translated into "little silver of the Pinto River." It is a dense, malleable, ductile, precious, gray-white transition metal...

, rhodium
Rhodium
Rhodium is a chemical element that is a rare, silvery-white, hard and chemically inert transition metal and a member of the platinum group. It has the chemical symbol Rh and atomic number 45. It is composed of only one isotope, 103Rh. Naturally occurring rhodium is found as the free metal, alloyed...

, ruthenium
Ruthenium
Ruthenium is a chemical element with symbol Ru and atomic number 44. It is a rare transition metal belonging to the platinum group of the periodic table. Like the other metals of the platinum group, ruthenium is inert to most chemicals. The Russian scientist Karl Ernst Claus discovered the element...

, selenium
Selenium
Selenium is a chemical element with atomic number 34, chemical symbol Se, and an atomic mass of 78.96. It is a nonmetal, whose properties are intermediate between those of adjacent chalcogen elements sulfur and tellurium...

, silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, tantalum
Tantalum
Tantalum is a chemical element with the symbol Ta and atomic number 73. Previously known as tantalium, the name comes from Tantalus, a character in Greek mythology. Tantalum is a rare, hard, blue-gray, lustrous transition metal that is highly corrosion resistant. It is part of the refractory...

, terbium
Terbium
Terbium is a chemical element with the symbol Tb and atomic number 65. It is a silvery-white rare earth metal that is malleable, ductile and soft enough to be cut with a knife...

, thorium
Thorium
Thorium is a natural radioactive chemical element with the symbol Th and atomic number 90. It was discovered in 1828 and named after Thor, the Norse god of thunder....

, titanium
Titanium
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver color....

, vanadium
Vanadium
Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V and atomic number 23. It is a hard, silvery gray, ductile and malleable transition metal. The formation of an oxide layer stabilizes the metal against oxidation. The element is found only in chemically combined form in nature...

, and yttrium
Yttrium
Yttrium is a chemical element with symbol Y and atomic number 39. It is a silvery-metallic transition metal chemically similar to the lanthanides and it has often been classified as a "rare earth element". Yttrium is almost always found combined with the lanthanides in rare earth minerals and is...

.

Almost all electronics contain lead and tin (as solder) and copper (as wire and printed circuit board
Printed circuit board
A printed circuit board, or PCB, is used to mechanically support and electrically connect electronic components using conductive pathways, tracks or signal traces etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. It is also referred to as printed wiring board or etched wiring...

 tracks), though the use of lead-free solder is now spreading rapidly. The following are ordinary applications:

Hazardous

  • Americium
    Americium
    Americium is a synthetic element that has the symbol Am and atomic number 95. This transuranic element of the actinide series is located in the periodic table below the lanthanide element europium, and thus by analogy was named after another continent, America.Americium was first produced in 1944...

    :the radioactive source in smoke alarms. It is known to be carcinogenic.
  • Mercury
    Mercury (element)
    Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

    : found in fluorescent tubes (numerous applications), tilt switches (mechanical doorbells, thermostat
    Thermostat
    A thermostat is the component of a control system which regulates the temperature of a system so that the system's temperature is maintained near a desired setpoint temperature. The thermostat does this by switching heating or cooling devices on or off, or regulating the flow of a heat transfer...

    s), and flat screen monitors. Health effects include sensory impairment, dermatitis, memory loss, and muscle weakness. Environmental effects in animals include death, reduced fertility, slower growth and development.
  • Sulphur: found in lead-acid batteries. Health effects include liver damage, kidney damage, heart damage, eye and throat irritation. When released in to the environment, it can create sulphuric acid.
  • BFRs: Used as flame retardants in plastics in most electronics. Includes PBBs, PBDE
    PBDE
    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDE, are organobromine compounds that are used as flame retardants. Like other brominated flame retardants, PBDEs have been used in a wide array of products, including building materials, electronics, furnishings, motor vehicles, airplanes, plastics,...

    , DecaBDE, OctaBDE, PentaBDE. Health effects include impaired development of the nervous system, thyroid problems, liver problems. Environmental effects: similar effects as in animals as humans. PBBs were banned from 1973-1977 on. PCBs were banned during the 1980's.
  • Cadmium
    Cadmium
    Cadmium is a chemical element with the symbol Cd and atomic number 48. This soft, bluish-white metal is chemically similar to the two other stable metals in group 12, zinc and mercury. Similar to zinc, it prefers oxidation state +2 in most of its compounds and similar to mercury it shows a low...

    : Found in light-sensitive resistors, corrosion-resistant alloys for marine and aviation environments, and nickel-cadmium batteries. The most common form of cadmium is found in Nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries. These batteries tend to contain between 6-18% cadmium. The sale of Nickel-Cadmium batteries has been banned in the European Union except for medical use. When not properly recycled it can leach into the soil, harming microorganisms and disrupting the soil ecosystem. Exposure is caused by proximity to hazardous waste sites and factories and workers in the metal refining industry. The inhalation of cadmium can cause severe damage to the lungs and is also known to cause kidney damage.
  • Lead
    Lead
    Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

    : solder
    Solder
    Solder is a fusible metal alloy used to join together metal workpieces and having a melting point below that of the workpiece.Soft solder is what is most often thought of when solder or soldering are mentioned and it typically has a melting range of . It is commonly used in electronics and...

    , CRT monitor glass, lead-acid batteries, some formulations of PVC. A typical 15-inch cathode ray tube may contain 1.5 pounds of lead, but other CRTs have been estimated as having up to 8 pounds of lead.
  • Beryllium oxide
    Beryllium oxide
    Beryllium oxide , also known as beryllia, is an inorganic compound with the formula BeO. This colourless solid is a notable electrical insulator with a higher thermal conductivity than any other non-metal except diamond, and actually exceeds that of some metals. As an amorphous solid, beryllium...

    : filler in some thermal interface materials such as thermal grease
    Thermal grease
    Thermal grease is a viscous fluid substance, originally with properties akin to grease, which increases the thermal conductivity of a thermal interface by filling...

     used on heatsinks for CPUs and power transistors
    Power semiconductor device
    Power semiconductor devices are semiconductor devices used as switches or rectifiers in power electronic circuits . They are also called power devices or when used in integrated circuits, called power ICs....

    , magnetrons, X-ray-transparent ceramic windows, heat transfer fins in vacuum tube
    Vacuum tube
    In electronics, a vacuum tube, electron tube , or thermionic valve , reduced to simply "tube" or "valve" in everyday parlance, is a device that relies on the flow of electric current through a vacuum...

    s, and gas laser
    Gas laser
    A gas laser is a laser in which an electric current is discharged through a gas to produce coherent light. The gas laser was the first continuous-light laser and the first laser to operate "on the principle of converting electrical energy to a laser light output...

    s.

Generally non-hazardous



  • Tin
    Tin
    Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

    : solder, coatings on component leads.
  • Copper
    Copper
    Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

    : copper wire, printed circuit board
    Printed circuit board
    A printed circuit board, or PCB, is used to mechanically support and electrically connect electronic components using conductive pathways, tracks or signal traces etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. It is also referred to as printed wiring board or etched wiring...

     tracks, component leads.
  • Aluminium
    Aluminium
    Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

    : nearly all electronic goods using more than a few watts of power (heatsinks), electrolytic capacitor
    Electrolytic capacitor
    An electrolytic capacitor is a type of capacitor that uses an electrolyte, an ionic conducting liquid, as one of its plates, to achieve a larger capacitance per unit volume than other types. They are often referred to in electronics usage simply as "electrolytics"...

    s.
  • Iron
    Iron
    Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

    : steel chassis, cases, and fixings.
  • Germanium
    Germanium
    Germanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ge and atomic number 32. It is a lustrous, hard, grayish-white metalloid in the carbon group, chemically similar to its group neighbors tin and silicon. The isolated element is a semiconductor, with an appearance most similar to elemental silicon....

    : 1950s–1960s transistorized electronics (bipolar junction transistor
    Bipolar junction transistor
    |- align = "center"| || PNP|- align = "center"| || NPNA bipolar transistor is a three-terminal electronic device constructed of doped semiconductor material and may be used in amplifying or switching applications. Bipolar transistors are so named because their operation involves both electrons...

    s).
  • Silicon
    Silicon
    Silicon is a chemical element with the symbol Si and atomic number 14. A tetravalent metalloid, it is less reactive than its chemical analog carbon, the nonmetal directly above it in the periodic table, but more reactive than germanium, the metalloid directly below it in the table...

    : glass
    Glass
    Glass is an amorphous solid material. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent.The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica plus Na2O, CaO, and several minor additives...

    , transistor
    Transistor
    A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and power. It is composed of a semiconductor material with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals changes the current...

    s, ICs
    Integrated circuit
    An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is an electronic circuit manufactured by the patterned diffusion of trace elements into the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material...

    , printed circuit board
    Printed circuit board
    A printed circuit board, or PCB, is used to mechanically support and electrically connect electronic components using conductive pathways, tracks or signal traces etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. It is also referred to as printed wiring board or etched wiring...

    s.
  • Nickel
    Nickel
    Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

    : nickel-cadmium batteries.
  • Lithium
    Lithium
    Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. It is represented by the symbol Li, and it has the atomic number 3. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly...

    : lithium-ion batteries.
  • Zinc
    Zinc
    Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

    : plating
    Plating
    Plating is a surface covering in which a metal is deposited on a conductive surface. Plating has been done for hundreds of years, but it is also critical for modern technology...

     for steel parts.
  • Gold
    Gold
    Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

    : connector plating
    Gold plating
    Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver , by chemical or electrochemical plating...

    , primarily in computer equipment.

See also



  • 2000s commodities boom
    2000s commodities boom
    The 2000s commodities boom is the rise in many physical commodity prices which occurred during the decade of the 2000s , following the Great Commodities Depression of the 1980s and 1990s...

  • Basel Action Network
    Basel Action Network
    The Basel Action Network is an non-governmental charitable organization working to combat the export of toxic waste, toxic technology and toxic products from industrialized societies to developing countries. BAN operates globally but is based in Seattle, Washington, United States, with a partner...

     (BAN)
  • Basel Convention
    Basel Convention
    The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known simply as the Basel Convention, is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of...

  • China RoHS
    China RoHS
    China RoHS , officially known as Administrative Measure on the Control of Pollution Caused by Electronic Information Products is a Chinese government regulation to control certain materials, including lead....

  • Computer Recycling
    Computer recycling
    Computer recycling or electronic recycling is the recycling or reuse of computers or other electronics. It includes both finding another use for materials , and having systems dismantled in a manner that allows for the safe extraction of the constituent materials for reuse in other...

  • Digger gold
    Digger gold
    Digger gold is the common slang term for gold recovered from electronics components such as board fingers, CPUs, and connector pins. For the gold fingers on boards or circuits, often a stripping solution is used to remove the gold from the board material, nitric acid also works well in this regard...

  • E-Cycling
  • e-Stewards
    E-Stewards
    The e-Stewards programs are initiatives of the Basel Action Network , a Seattle based non-profit watchdog organization that works to prevent trade of hazardous waste from rich to poor countries in accordance with the international Basel Treaty and the Basel Ban Amendment...

  • eDay
    EDay
    eDay is a term that refers to the peak sales day for the online retail sector in the United States. The term was coined by web analytics and precision marketing firm Coremetrics.-eDays by year:* December 5, 2005....

  • Electronics
    Electronics
    Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

  • Electronics and the environment
  • Green computing
    Green computing
    Green computing or green IT, refers to environmentally sustainable computing or IT. In the article Harnessing Green IT: Principles and Practices, San Murugesan defines the field of green computing as "the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers,...

  • iPhone recycling
  • Material safety data sheet
    Material safety data sheet
    A Material Safety Data Sheet is a form with data regarding the properties of a particular substance....

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive
    Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive
    The Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment 2002/95/EC was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union. The RoHS directive took effect on 1 July 2006, and is required to be enforced and become law in each member state...

     (RoHS)
  • Retail hazardous waste
  • Retrocomputing
    Retrocomputing
    Retrocomputing is the use of early computer hardware and software today. Retrocomputing is usually classed as a hobby and recreation rather than a practical application of technology; enthusiasts often collect rare and valuable hardware and software for sentimental reasons...

  • Sustainable Electronics Initiative
    Sustainable Electronics Initiative
    Sustainable Electronics Initiative is an initiative started in the United States in the summer of 2009 by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, which is a division of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign...

     (SEI)
  • Waste
    Waste
    Waste is unwanted or useless materials. In biology, waste is any of the many unwanted substances or toxins that are expelled from living organisms, metabolic waste; such as urea, sweat or feces. Litter is waste which has been disposed of improperly...

  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive
    Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive
    The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive is the European Community directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment which, together with the RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC, became European Law in February 2003, setting collection, recycling and recovery targets for all...


Organizations
  • Empa
    Empa
    The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology or Empa is an interdisciplinary Swiss research and service institution for applied materials sciences and technology...

  • International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement
    International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement
    The International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement is a global network of environmental compliance and enforcement practitioners dedicated to raising awareness of compliance and enforcement across the regulatory cycle; developing networks for enforcement cooperation; and...

  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
    Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
    The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries is a private, non-profit trade association representing nearly 1,500 private and public for-profit companies – ranging from small, family-owned businesses to multi-national corporations -- operating at more than 6,000 facilities in the United States and...

     (ISRI)
  • Solving the E-waste Problem
    Solving the E-waste Problem
    Solving the E-waste Problem is an international initiative, created to develop solutions to address issues associated with Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment ....

  • WEEE Forum
  • World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association
    World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association
    The World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association is a business consortium dedicated to the reform of the trade of e-waste. The WR3A is inspired by fair trade organizations.-History:...



External links