Problem of E-Waste

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1. Problem definition 1.1. What is E-waste E-waste, or "Electronic waste", includes discarded computers, electronic equipments, entertainment consoles, mobile phones, televisions and many more. It comprises used electronics for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal purposes. 1.2. Amount of E-waste Rapid changes in technology and falling prices have resulted in a fast-growing surplus of electronic waste around the globe. An estimate of 50 million tons of E-waste is produced each year (Sthiannopkao S, 2012). This means every year one person’s share of e-waste is about 11.5 pounds, and is almost as heavy as a house cat. This cat-sized E-waste which contains lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants is a serious problem to the land, water, and even humans (Treehugger, 2012). 1.3. Main part of E-waste The information age has created the electronic industry which is the fast growing manufactory industry in the world (Electronic Waste Toronto). This includes the manufacturing of laptops, cell phones and TVs. The sales of those devices increase exponentially while the sales of traditional large machines like refrigerator and washing machine are at a steady state. This is due to people’s eagerness to new technology. In addition to that, the rapid change of the new technology causes devices to have shorter life span. People now change their devices just to experience newer technologies. For example, TV’s lifespan is now less than 7 years while in the past, it was over 10 years (Visualizing The World's E-Waste Problem, 2013). So the main contributor of the E-waste is the equipment which is changed frequently. To make things worse, e-waste is very hard to recycle. One reason is that there are no strict rules for the... ... middle of paper ... Lee, B. (2008, September). How Things Work: Heliodisplay. Retrieved from Prakash, S., & Manhart, A. (2010). Socio-economic assesment and feasibility study on sustainable e-waste management in Ghana. Robinson, B. (2009). Review: E-waste: An assesment of global production and environmental impacts. Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 408, 183-191. Treehugger. (2012, January 26). This E-Waste Infographic Raises More Questions than It Answers. Retrieved from Technolygy: Yu, J., Welford, R., & Hills, P. (2006). Industry responses to EU WEEE and ROHS Directives: Perspectives from China. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, Vol. 13, No. 5, 286-299.
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