E-Waste Rising, Electronics Makers Boost Recycling

by | Nov 16, 2009

e-wasteTransboundary movement of hazardous waste shows a disastrous accumulation of e-waste, roughly about 6 billion tons, according to an upcoming report from the Basel Convention, reports RedOrbit. Part of the accumulation is attributed to increasing demand for electronic gaming, high definition TVs and smart cars, according to the article. But some consumer electronics manufactures like Samsung are doing their part by implementing recycling programs and committing to Basel’s recycling guidelines.

In India alone, e-waste is growing about 10 to 15 percent annually and is expected to reach 800,000 tons in 2010, according to Priti Mahesh, India’s senior program officer of Toxic Link, at a recent two-day international conference on heavy metals and e-waste, reports RedOrbit.

Yet, the country only has six recycling facilities with an annual capacity of 27,000 tons, and workers are being exposed to dangerous chemicals including barium, lead, copper and cadmium, according to the article.

In the U.S., global consumer electronics makers continue to ramp up efforts to recycle more e-waste. As an example, Samsung Electronics America Inc. has recycled 12 million pounds of e-waste in 2009. The electronics company launched its 50-state recycling program, Samsung Recycling Direct, in October 2008, providing more than 200 drop-off centers across the nation.

In addition, Samsung is committed to Basel Ban Amendments that state hazardous electronic waste will not be incinerated; sent to solid waste landfills, or exported to developing countries,

However, the electronics industry continues its lawsuit against New York City’s e-waste recycling law, calling the law unconstitutional because it mandates that manufacturers provide free, door-to-door electronics collection to city residents.

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