Junk Piles

UN Helps Developing Countries Handle E-Waste

Although they receive far less foreign e-waste than Africa and Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean are significant and growing destinations for the industrialized world’s discarded refrigerators, small home appliances, televisions, mobile phones, computers, e-toys and other products with batteries or electrical cords.

Adding to the problem, the region’s fast-growing middle class is emulating American consumers by buying more electronic and electrical equipment. According to the World Bank, economic “climbers” grew 50 percent in the last decade and represent 32 percent of the area’s population, surpassing the number of poor for the first time in regional history.

The United Nations’ Bonn, Germany-based Solving the E-Waste Program initiative establishes e-waste academies as valuable resources for researchers, government decision-makers and recyclers. Experts share their experiences and knowledge in developing countries.

Academy Coordinator Federico Magalini, Ph.D., notes, “What’s called a ‘best of two worlds’ approach is needed: efficient pre-processing in developing countries and maximized recovery of materials with proper treatment of residual waste in countries with the best technologies for the job, with proceeds shared fairly and equitably.”

Source: EWasteAcademy.org

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Wind Harvest

The first floating wind farm in the UK, Hywind in Scotland, will have a 30-megawatt capacity to provide clean energy to 20,000 homes.

Fossilized Financing

The world’s biggest economies provide four times more public financing for fossil fuels than for renewable energies.

Renewable Payoff

For a few hours last May, Germany’s renewable mix of energy generated so much power that customers were actually paid for using electricity.

Sealife Sanctuary

Greenpeace is working with the European Union and Germany to set aside an Antarctic sanctuary of almost three-quarters of a million square miles to protect whales, penguins and other wildlife.

Plumbing Progress

An innovative Australian project recycles discarded ocean plastic into 3-D printer filament, which is then used to make replacement plumbing parts in needy areas of the world.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags