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Articles on E-waste

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There’s more to e-waste than the discarded monitors, cell phones and other electronics. (Shutterstock)

Almost everything you know about e-waste is wrong

No amount of post-consumer recycling can recoup the waste generated before consumers purchase their devices.
Agbogbloshie, an area in the city of Accra Ghana, is usually portrayed as an e-waste dump. A more accurate picture would include the repair and refurbishment economy. Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform

Beyond recycling: solving e-waste problems must include designers and consumers

Design-for-recycling and take-back laws – not just more recycling – are needed to address the sprawling e-waste problem.
After a software upgrade your “smart mug” will be as pointless as these floppy disc drives. EPA

The internet of things will be an internet of obsolete junk

The US Federal Trade Commission issued a report on the “internet of things” this week. It announced: Six years ago, for the first time, the number of “things” connected to the internet surpassed the number…
Electronic thermoset components, such as those found in mobile phones, are destined for landfill – but new research points to a way to make them recyclable. David Goehring/Flickr

Recycling the ‘unrecyclable’: a new class of thermoset plastics

Plastics comprise around 10% of solid waste in Australia. And while we can recycle certain types, there is a group of particularly stable plastics called thermosets, common in electronic devices, which…
Hazardous, I tell you - and I’m not talking about the manufacturers’ customer service. STEVE YEATER/AP

A solution that uses toxic waste to clean up toxins

The manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, fuelled by increased consumption and by the equipment’s relatively short lifespan. As a result…
An expanding sea of junk in Lagos. Margaret Bates

Europe’s electronic waste has become Africa’s burden

The disposal of computers and other electronic and electrical goods, e-waste, is a growing global problem. In 2011, the world threw away 41.5m tonnes of electrical equipment, and this is expected to rise…
The Product Stewardship Act could get TVs off the footpath and into recycling. eviloars/Flickr

Want a new TV for Christmas? What will you do with the old one?

The carbon tax was not the only significant piece of environmental legislation to come into law recently. The Australian government’s Product Stewardship Act paves the way for a comprehensive solution…
Much of our e-waste – such as these computer parts – ends up in developing countries. Greenpeace India

E-waste: the high cost of high-tech

E-waste from used electrical and electronic gadgets such as desktop computers, laptops and iPhones is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. Rapid uptake of information technology around…

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