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E-waste

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Over the past decade there was a prominent development observed in the sphere of high technologies production, so the scale of electronics market becomes wider and spins up from day to day. “According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), consumers were expected to purchase 500 million units of consumer electronics in the US in 2008. US households spend about $1407 per year on hardware.” (Electronics Takeback coalition, 2010) Accordingly, there is a clear tendency of rapid substitution of electronic appliances observed, as every other day producers offer consumers more efficient and powerful gadgets instead of their predecessors. Consequently, high rate in electronics upgrading results in shortening of their lifespan and following stockpiling of needless gadgets, which then become a part of municipal waste. These end-of-life electronic devices are often called ‘electronic waste, or e-waste’. Now approximately 20-25 million tons of e-waste is estimated to be produced worldwide every year with the largest number of electronics being discarded in Europe, the United States and Australasia. (Brett H. Robinson, 2009) Hence, there is a serious challenge of management of e-waste disposal appearing across the whole world. Figures show that a very small percentage of electronic waste undergoes recycling process, whilst its lion share is stockpiled in landfills or incinerated with the rest of solid municipal waste. According to EPA, in the U.S. in 2008 3.16 million tons of electronic waste was produced and only 430.000 tons which constitute 13.6% were recycled. (TakeBack Coalition, 2010) This essay will present main points of e-waste problem, analyze possible solutions of the problem and discuss if they are suitable and efficient en...

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...ied to the electronic waste issue. However, not all of them can be successfully developed and utilized to the solution. Donation of tons of electronic devices to developing nations is not efficient, as in its most part gadgets arrive in condition improper for reuse. Consequently, export of electronics to third world countries for reuse only result in exposure of more land to contamination with hazardous components in the absence of any proper recycling programs there. Therefore, it may be concluded that legislation method, or establishing takeback programs, would be the most efficient out of all proposed solutions. Extended producer responsibility will not only systemize the recycling process but also it will give a great motivation to manufacturers to come up with new design of technologies that will be less poisonous and easier to undergo recycling management.
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