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Market Potential of Evolving New e-Waste Management Techniques in Developing Countries

November 6th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Accumulation of toxic waste in the form of landfills is a threat to our future generation & this article describes some of the e-Waste management techniques

As the technologies have been advancing at very fast rate, the average lifespan of any generic electronic device has been reduced to at most 10 years. This leads to accumulation of toxic waste in the eco-system mainly in the form of landfills. The only way to avert this kind of serious threat to our future generations is to have safe and most efficient recycling techniques in order to reuse these materials.

This problem is more prevalent in the developing countries as they do not have that much advanced techniques to treat this toxic waste.

The developed countries on the other hand have both the efficient technologies and the funds to use them. Also the e-waste that these countries produce annually, most of that is introduced in the tech markets of the developing countries which avoid wastage.

e waste recycling

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There is a huge scope of introducing these e-waste management techniques in these developing countries which would reduce wastage and at the same time lend a helping hand in the economy of those countries and help in supporting sustainable development as well.

For instance, on an average developing countries dump more than 180 million used computers and even more mobile devices annually in the form of landfills. These are really optimistic figures, and are supposed to reach 1 billion in about 10 years from now.

As they do not have much advances in the recycling techniques, they use very primitive methods to extract metals like copper and gold from the e-waste such as circuit boards. In lieu of extracting copper, they literally burn off the plastic insulation and silicon tracks which instead of saving the environment, adds up a whole lot of toxic plastic and other chemicals into the eco-system. These are also treated with cyanide and nitric acid which further worsens the soil conditions.

Most of the backyard recyclers in the developing countries simply incinerate the stuff considering that they have safely gotten rid of it. But this on the contrary, further more pollutes the environment while completely destroying the materials that could either have been used or extracted from that waste if they had access to the proper technology.

The developing countries have both the population and the resources to test and implement some new e-waste management techniques and gradually integrate them into their already practiced techniques. They just need some push and help form the developed nations. If they are given access to some of the already existing methods in the developed countries for recycling e-waste, these developing countries may miraculously succeed in developing their own such techniques which may even outperform the developed nations’ technology, which is nothing to be ashamed of.

It’s just that the legislation of the developing countries need to introduce some stringent laws regarding e-waste disposal and management.

Therefore it can be safely concluded that although borrowing or transporting efficient e-waste management techniques form the developed countries might be quite expensive but it is not impossible.

If the developing countries take it really seriously and support the e-waste management sector which is not considered earnestly in these countries, they can very well utilize their already existing resources into making a better future for their coming generations. They need to understand the scope they have for developing e-waste management techniques which the developed countries really crave for.

It is recommended that these developing countries formulate e-waste management centers among themselves. They also have the option to take help form the developed countries that are members of the UN and earn their goodwill at the same time.

There is an unimaginable scope of developing new e-waste management techniques within the developing countries which will not only help in safe waste disposal but will also safe a lot of their resources and strengthen their collapsing economies.

Tags: Recycling

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Metal Hoppers // Nov 9, 2012 at 5:24 am

    I think the problem doesn’t lie in the policies or budget of developing countries. I think the problem lies in their leaders commitment toward their country and their citizens. A lot of developing countries are poor because of corruption and mismanagement of government 🙁