Europe’s electronic waste is back in news, but is into bitter headlines this time. According to an investigation conducted by Interpol in association with United Nations University, 65% of e-waste is being mismanaged or stolen in Europe region.
The investigation also discovered that most of the companies or organizations which are into the disposal of Electronic waste are following the guidelines formulated by The European Union.
Interpol investigation also discovered that in year 2013-2014 criminals absconded out of Europe with 1.3 million tones of undocumented equipment such as laptops, data storage appliances, circuit boards, processor chips, LED television sets and refrigerators. It is estimated by the European Union that the loss of the equipment is termed to be 1.7 billion Euros.
An additional 4.7 million tones of electronics were mismanaged or illegally traded inside Europe. That means that toxic materials that can be harmful to the environment or to people’s health, such as lead, cadmium, and mercury, are not being disposed of in a safe way.
This clearly shows the laxity of those handling the equipment and the way they are abiding the imposed laws.
- According to the few suggestions made by Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment Forum, these issues can be curbed by re-designing the laws for those companies which are licensed to handle e-waste.
- Also, the list of companies or organizations handling electronic waste in and around Europe should be reviewed and an audit on the performance of these companies in the last 5 years, in the said business vertical should be performed by UN.
- The European Union must institute a ban on cash transactions in the scrap metal trade, which would help authorities, keep track of where waste goes.
- Finally, EU needs to create national task forces comprised of different local stakeholders, to research the problem on the ground, run consumer awareness campaigns, or enforce penalties for offenders.
Thankfully, the Electronic Waste management laws in United States are very much in practice than on paper. The laws formulated and imposed by United States Environmental Protection Agency allow stringent action against those who showing laxity towards e-waste management. The laws imposed by EPA are addressed at state and federal level.
Companies like DNF Recycling abide by these laws and carry on the activity of processing, re-using and disposing e-waste in a responsible manner. Such companies also offer a credit on new equipment purchase, if it is related to computing devices.
To know more call 510.962.5012 or click DNF Electronic Recycling and Asset Management web page.