Governments must not let e-waste go to the landfill. Functional equipment should be reused; all e-waste should be recycled.
Sending e-waste to landfill pollutes the soil, water and air
Valuable resources are lost
Prioritise reuse over recycling for functional equipment
It is more environmentally beneficial to reuse rather then recycle
ICTs are energy and materially intensive to produce, and contain substances that are hazardous, valuable or both. Reusing IT makes resource and environmental sense.
Reusing working computers is up to 20 times more energy efficient than recycling them. Also, reuse lowers ICT resource depletion costs far more than recycling. Thus, the waste hierarchy equally applies to unwanted ICTs as other wastes.
Refurbished electronic products are usually less expensive than new ones, thus reuse can enable access to technology for those that would otherwise be unable to afford it.
E-waste once it reaches it true end-of-life must be sent to legitimate, licensed operators
Recycling, using appropriate handling techniques, can help avoid hazardous emissions whilst recovering valuable materials, and may reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with production of new equipment and mining
Recycling all e-waste within your own country helps the recycling industry and creates more employment
Enact producer responsibility to fund e-waste management and promote ecodesign
An e-waste system must be free and convenient for consumers to use
Producers must be individually responsible for the full end-of-life costs of their goods to incentivise ecodesign and develop domestic recycling markets.
Hazardous substances bans need to be in place, to make electronics manufacturers reduce and eventually eliminate the use of toxics in electronics
Ambitious collection and recovery targets, to keep e-waste out of landfill and to incentivise the development of a convenient and effective e-waste management system
Enforce it – monitor actors, punish criminal activity
Public education and communication is needed, to ensure all actors know their role and responsibilities and to encourage high participation, compliance and best practice.
Government will then need to ensure that they have enough resources to effectively monitor and police the system
There needs to be strong penalties in place for those that break the law