Recycling of ewaste requires lot of expensive equipments. The article enlists some of the biggest problem of E-waste exportation. Here’s the list of some:
E-waste is a serious problem in developed countries where huge amount of used electronic goods get dumped every year. Disposal of E-waste is a serious problem in such nations and threat to the environment.
During 1980’s, there were serious conflict between nations because of the shipping of such hazardous E-waste to developing countries for burning or recycling. To address the issues of movement of such toxic E-waste, an international treaty named “Basel Convention” was signed and adopted.
E-waste exportation is a serious problem which involves lot of money and resources. Even after the signing of Basel Convention by 150 countries, still export or E-waste is carried out to unauthorized recycling centers present in developing countries.
There was a shocking report by Basel Action Network in coalition with Silicon Valley Toxics which stated that around fifty to eighty percent of E-waste collected from U.S. was exported to developing countries like Pakistan, India and China. This was a serious problem for the developing nations where already environment pollution is an existing issue.
Only Australia which signed the Basel Convention in the year 1992, made a promise that hazardous E-waste could not be exported anywhere without getting a permit of where it will be taken and how it will be processed. They declared the Hazardous Waste Act which does not allow export of E-waste without proper permit, and anyone who does not follow this Act can get serious punishments including 5 years imprisonment or series penalties of up to 1 million dollars.
But still the problem continues where E-waste worth more than 20 million dollars gets exported to developing countries like India, China and many other Asian countries from Australia.
In times of economic slowdown, E-waste recycling is a very good business. Many companies tend to refurbish the products so that it can be used longer. There is always a serious debate going on about exporting and recycling of E-waste. Some African countries like Ghana has become a victim for E-waste dumping and this has caused lot of environmental and health problems to people living in those countries.
Actually proper recycling of E-waste requires lot of money and investment which companies are not ready to spend. So, they just try to export the E-waste to developing countries where it gets dumped as landfills which result in soil pollution. Only few companies in U.S. have a separate budget for recycling used electronic goods, since there is no mandate for e-waste recycling from U.S. government.
Hence, companies are trying to find loopholes in the process and finding cheaper ways to dispose their E-waste. Around 90 percent of E-waste from U.S. is exported to other countries including African countries and Asian countries like India and China. Dumping and burning of E-waste can result in toxic gases which are harmful for environment. E-waste contains hazardous chemicals like lead, bauxite, mercury, cadmium, Lithium etc. which can spoil the fertility of the soil.
But recycling of E-waste requires lot of expensive equipment and man power which company is not ready to invest. Due to this, lot of E-waste gets exported and dumped in other countries and is a serious threat to environment. The Basel Convention Network and its Coalition team is trying to closely track this problem in order to address the issues with exporting of E-waste.