Electronic waste (e-waste), also known as Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEEs), is a growing global problem, with growth charted at 3-5% per year. A recent research paper, ‘Recycling of WEEEs: an economic assessment of present and future e-waste streams,’ addresses this critical issue; the challenges it brings and potential solutions.
WEEEs represent the largest waste stream with the highest annual growth. Every year from 20 to 50 million tonnes are generated globally. About half of WEEEs generated by developed countries continue to be illegally transported to developing countries as humanitarian aid or reusable products. If these WEEEs aren’t disposed of properly, they present an environmental risk to the local population. But the threats of e-waste go beyond the environment; there are also ethical considerations.
Facts about WEEEs:
- The collection, recovery and destruction of WEEEs is mandated by the European Commission, with the aim to limit more or less controlled flows of these wastes through other non-EU countries requiring raw materials at low prices.
- Overall Potential Revenues coming from the recycling of e-waste are equal to 2.15 billion in the European market.
- 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year.
Materials that are easily recycled include notebooks and tablets (the most valuable WEEEs), LCD and LED displays and monitors, HDDs and SSDs, PCBs and mobile phones and smart phones. How organisations recycle and dispose of these assets varies. Companies are obligated to choose a secure IT asset disposition provider that has secure processes in place for the complete destruction of data. Not only are they legal, ethical and environmental issues at stake, not erasing data from these devices properly can give hackers the information they need to damage businesses.
Iron Mountain Secure IT Asset Disposition programme gives you the visibility, security and peace of mind you’ve been searching for in an asset disposal solution. Learn more about what makes us unique in our webinar: Undead IT: Preventing eWaste from Coming Back to Bite You.