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UN Report: 90% of Global E-Waste Illegally Traded or Dumped

UN Report: 90% of Global E-Waste Illegally Traded or Dumped

Up to 90 percent of the world's e-waste is illegally traded or dumped each year, according to the UN Environment Programme.

According to BusinessGreen:

Exporting hazardous waste from EU and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Member States to non-OECD countries is banned. However, UNEP says thousands of tonnes of e-waste are falsely declared as second-hand goods and exported from developed to developing countries, including waste batteries falsely described as plastic or mixed metal scrap, and cathode ray tubes and computer monitors misleadingly declared as metal scrap.

African and Asian countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, China, Pakistan, India, and Vietnam are turning into illegal e-waste hubs, bypassing the legitimate global waste and recycling market that is thought to be worth $410bn a year.

Last month, a different report named the U.S. and China was the worst e-waste culprits.

One of the major challenges in dealing with e-waste in the U.S. is the disposal of old CRT televisions and monitors. 

In a column for Waste360, Jason Linnell wrote:

The problem for the recycling industry is that all of those CRTs still need to be collected and properly recycled. And since the markets for making new CRTs from the materials in old CRTs went away many years ago as Americans upgraded to new display technologies, the downstream options are limited.

The challenge is primarily in recycling the glass in a CRT, which comprises the bulk of the weight and contains a leaded portion. And even before worrying about proper markets for those materials is the problem of physically collecting and transporting these cumbersome and heavy tubes that have been dispersed in households during the past 60 to 70 years. Some CRT projection TVs can weigh more than 200 pounds.

TAGS: E-Waste
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