Archive for the ‘E-waste’ Category

E-waste? What? How? (part two)

E-waste is not just a plain waste. The many different components that you can find in it are opening a completely new chapter, so instead simply disposed in landfills it can be re-used or recycled and re-join in the country’s economy. It contains useful elements that can be back into commerce, to create jobs and to bring about economic development.

Increasing the recycling rate of all electronic devices is not only imperative for protecting public health, but also for conserving natural resources. The challenge for the planet is educating consumers, developing a convenient infrastructure that recycles e-waste responsibly, and covering the costs.

This is how responsible e-waste recycling carries great benefits for the economy and for the environment:

  • Allows recovery of valuable precious metals.

Three main materials being recovered from e-waste are metals, glass and plastics. It is believed that the e-waste has about 50% non-colored metal, about 5% colored metals and 20-25% plastics. Printed Wiring Boards (PWB) contain the highest value metals as well as some of the most toxic metals found in electronics scrap.There are 10 to 100 times more precious metals in PWBs than in an equal weight of ore taken from a mine. For example: in traditional gold-mining operations, a company would need to move an entire ton of ore to extract 1 gram of gold. But, through the far simpler and cheaper process of recycling, it is possible to extract the same amount of gold from 41 discarded mobile phones.

While some of these mined metals eventually end up as pieces of jewelry or other valuables, more often than not they are used to create common household electronics.

The majority of electronic devices are currently being recovered for precious metals (gold, silver and platinum) and copper.

  • Protects environment and public health.

Recycling disables long e-waste disposal in the landfills. That means that e-waste toxins can’t be released into the atmosphere or seep in through the land and have negative health and environmental effects.

About 50% of the WEEE mass consists of colored metals, mainly steel. Collection and recycling of this material is usually achieved savings of 74% energy, 76% of water pollution and 86% air pollution in relation to primary production of steel.

  • Creating jobs

Recycling e-waste creates jobs for professional recyclers and refurbishers and creates new markets for the valuable components that are dismantled.

Materials recycling from waste generate 5-7 times more jobs than required for combustion, and 10 times more jobs than it takes to remove the landfill. The EU thematic strategy on prevention and recycling is considering that waste management and recycling sector in the EU27 are provided from 1.2 to 1.5 million jobs.

For better explanation, these means that on every 1,000 tons of waste electronics:

– Landfilled less than 1 job is created

– Recycled 15 jobs are created

– Repaired 200 jobs are created (on the other hand this activity is providing the opportunity for low income students and families to obtain low-cost working computers)

  • Saves landfill space.

Recycling e-waste will help conserve landfill space. While the weight represented by used electronics is not dramatic, the volume that these items represent in landfills is proportionally more significant because of the bulk and rigidity of these materials. Recycling eliminates the need to build the equivalent of one new large landfill each year, either at a remote, rural location or near a residential neighborhood, thus avoiding environmental concerns, such as air and water pollution and truck traffic.


Recycling raw materials from end-of-life electronics is the most effective solution to the growing e-waste problem. Most electronic devices contain a variety of materials, including metals that can be recovered for future uses. By dismantling and providing reuse possibilities, intact natural resources are conserved and air and water pollution caused by hazardous disposal is avoided. Additionally, recycling reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the manufacturing of new products. It simply makes good sense and is efficient to recycle and to do our part to keep the environment green.

To be continued …

“E-waste – problem we must find solution for” in support of Clean Up the World

E-waste? What? How? (part one)

“Law for management of electrical and electronic equipment and waste electrical and electronic equipment” categorizes electrical and electronic equipment as:

  1. large household appliances;
  2. small home appliances;
  3. equipment for information technology and telecommunications;
  4. wide consumer equipment and electronics for entertainment;
  5. lighting equipment;
  6. electrical and electronic appliances (except large stationary industrial tools);
  7. electrical and electronic equipment and toys for fun and sport;
  8. medical devices (except devices that can cause infection or radiation);
  9. tools for monitoring and control, and
  10. automatic machines.

E-waste includes waste from electrical and electronic equipment.
World faces expansion in technology development, so we easy become part of the great consumer society – buy, spend, throw … Unfortunately, our unnecessary electrical and electronic equipment often is improperly discard and usually ends with the rest of waste on the city’s overall waste landfills, dumps, in the cellars, attics or on other places – as far from our eyes.

Have you ever wondered what’s going on with your computer, TV or other household appliance from which you get rid on this or that way? What do you think, what is their impact on the environment and human health?
We encourage you to think about …

E-waste contains many harmful substances that negatively affect the environment, human and animal health if improperly handled. With inadequate and irresponsible handling of this type of waste and it disposal in nature it directly delays to soil and water and pollute them. It is particularly important to highlight the presence of:

Lead – can damage the central and peripheral nervous system of humans, there are registered effects of the endocrine system and can affect the cardiovascular system and kidneys. Lead is accumulated in the environment and has high acute and chronic toxic effects on plants, animals and microorganisms.

Cadmium – classified as toxic with a possible risk of irreversible effects on human health. Cadmium and cadmium compounds accumulate in the human body, especially in the kidneys and over time can lead to serious damage. Prolonged exposure to cadmium chloride may cause cancer.

Mercury – Methyl mercury easily accumulates in living organisms and concentrates through the food chain through fish. Methyl mercury has chronic effects and causes brain damage.

Hexavalent chromium (VI Cr) – is easily absorbed and produces different toxic effects in cells. Chromium VI causes very strong allergic reactions, such as asthmatic bronchitis, for example. Chromium VI considered potentially damaging to DNA.

Brominated burning flame retarder – are regularly used in electronic products as a means of protection from fire. More scientific observations indicate that polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) act on the endocrine system. When polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) will be released into the environment, they can enter the food chain.

To be continued …

“E-waste – problem we must find solution for” in support of Clean Up the World Weekend


Public debate on draft law on management of electrical and electronic equipment and waste from electrical and electronic equipment

On May 30, 2011 in the premises of the Economic Chamber of Macedonia, the second public debate on draft law on management of electrical and electronic equipment and waste from electrical and electronic equipment was held.

This event was organized by the Metamorphosis Foundation and the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. Elena Ignatova (Metamorphosis) and Lence Kjurcieva (Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning) presented the draft law.

Public debates are part of the National Democratic Institute’s (NDI) project “Strengthening of citizen participation in the legislative process” and aims to advocate for the adoption of the law for dealing with electronic and electrical waste, and all activities are in compliance with the current project which Metamorphosis runs – “Balkan E-Waste Management Advocacy Network “. Association for Green Society – Greener is a member of the National e-waste management advocacy network.

All information related to the current project and issues associated with e-waste could be found on page

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