Electronic waste (known as e-waste) has become a serious problem, both here in the United States and abroad.
We've seen a boom of electronic device production over the past few decades. Whether it's smartphones and tablets or TVs and video game consoles, consumers throughout the world are buying more and more electronic devices. But what happens to these devices when they become obsolete and/or stop working?
Electronic devices typically cannot be discarded in the trash due to the presence of toxic chemicals and heavy metals. For instance, it's not uncommon for computer hardware components to contain lead, cadmium, beryllium, or flame retardants, all of which can leach into the environment and surrounding soil when discarded with
"standard" trash. Some countries, states and local jurisdictions have laws requiring consumers to properly dispose of their electronic devices to protect the environment from these hazardous chemicals and toxic substances.
According to some estimates, more than 50 million tons of e-waste are produced every year. The United States alone discards some 30 million computers each year -- and that's just one country. In response to this rise of e-waste, some companies have begun specializing in e-waste disposal, management and recycling.
According to the E-Waste Management Market by Type …cast, 2015 – 2021 report by Market Research Store, the global e-waste management market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.7% through the forecast period. Assuming this growth rate is accurate, the market will reach $58 billion by 2021. In comparison, the global e-waste management market was valued at just $17 billion in 2015.
The Global E-waste Recycling Market Pr…ional Survey 2016 report by The Market Reports is a second comprehensive report on the global e-waste management and recycling market. This report cites the reduced lifespan of electronic devices like smartphones, TVs, computers and household appliances as being a primary market driver for e-waste recycling. Furthermore, the growing interest for newer, more powerful electronic devices by consumers is also helping the market grow. The report goes on to provide a basic overview of the global e-waste recycling market, complete with definitions and classifications, chain structure, cost and revenue, key vendors and more.
E-waste isn't just some buzzword that's here today and gone tomorrow. The fact is that we as a society product A LOT of electronic waste -- and all of this waste must be properly managed to protect the environment. Thankfully, there are companies that specialize in e-waste disposal, management and recycling.