With its significant impact on our immediate environment and life on earth, e-waste recycling is an essential concern of a global nature. Besides being a noble cause, e-recycling can also yield substantial economic returns. These returns have made many people tap into the business opportunities that e-recycling presents. Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the lucrative opportunities that e-recycling can provide as a steady revenue stream from the developing world. At the same time, they are advancing the goals of a greener world.

EPA participated in the launch of the UNIDO-GEF project

In January 2019, EPA and UNU-Solving the E-waste Problem collaborated to develop a tool to assess e-waste and identify downstream markets for its components. EPA and UNU-StEP served as international advisors to an Ethiopian working group on e-waste management. The project also guides countries on appropriate management technologies and business models.

With the growth in consumer electronics like cell phones, computers, tablets, and laptops, the EPA has taken steps to increase recycling and reduce e-waste to protect the environment. Because computers contain rare earth minerals, recycling them is especially important. This is why the EPA is working with governments worldwide to develop more efficient recycling programs. It also launched the International E-Waste Management Network, a forum for countries to share best practices and strategies for e-waste management.

The Task Force report details the federal government’s plans for promoting greener design of electronics, increasing domestic recycling, reducing harmful exports of e-waste, and building capacity in developing nations to handle used electronics. The report also outlines specific projects and recommendations that can help implement the goals of the federal government. If you’re interested in recycling your old electronics, check out the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship.

UNIDO’s intervention in e-waste is primarily focused on policy development. The project has resulted in two new draft policies, and four are in the process of being developed. Additionally, two countries are currently developing e-waste legislation and drafting amendments to existing regulations. The UNIDO-GEF project has also engaged a wide range of stakeholders in various capacity-building activities.

The Step has a long history of collaboration with UNU-Step, a United Nations initiative. The two agencies signed a cooperative agreement on e-waste in November 2010. Together, the UNU-Step initiative has tracked global flows of e-waste and optimized an Ethiopian e-waste dismantling facility. The partners also developed a tool to collect and analyze the amount of e-waste exported from a country.

EPA representatives and UNIDO representatives presented their findings in the project. The Indonesian government’s PCB inventories were based on incomplete data, and only 3000 transformers were analyzed in 1000 industries. In the island of Java alone, there are more than 300,000 transformers that need to be analyzed, which means Indonesia needs to analyze more than three hundred thousand transformers. In order to advance the project, the participation of provincial environmental offices is necessary.

EPA participated in the launch of the e-Stewards program

The e-Stewards program for ensuring electronic waste recycling follows strict criteria. The program was launched to encourage electronics manufacturers and retailers to increase takeback programs. The EPA is actively encouraging these companies to become certified, thereby improving the domestic electronic waste recycling industry. This program also encourages the growth of green jobs in the United States. The EPA will conduct periodic studies to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of electronic waste recycling certification programs.

The EPA’s e-waste program is working with the UNIDO-GEF Solving the E-waste Problem Initiative (SEPPI), a project of the United Nations University. The two organizations signed a cooperative agreement in November 2010. Through this program, the EPA is helping to develop a tool for evaluating the condition of e-waste. This tool will help recyclers and companies assess the quality of e-waste.

The EPA has actively participated in the launch of the e-Stewards program for promoting e-waste recycling. It also has joined the Step Initiative as a founding member and serves on the Supervisory Committee. The e-Stewards program aims to increase awareness of the benefits of e-waste recycling. In addition to encouraging recycling, the program also helps recyclers earn an honorable title from consumers.

The National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship was released by the Obama Administration in July 2011. It is designed to promote responsible design and purchasing of electronics, as well as improve domestic recycling and developing countries’ capacity to handle used electronics. Through this program, companies such as Dell, Sprint, and Sony will be recognized as e-Stewards. This program is an international effort to promote responsible e-waste and help our country to lead the way in this arena.

In Maine, e-waste recycling has become easier and more affordable. The product stewardship program helps residents of Maine recycle 97 million pounds of electronics with the support of electronic manufacturers. These programs are designed to help households, schools, and nonprofit organizations recycle their e-waste without incurring any cost. All electronic waste is sent to approved recycling facilities that meet strict environmental standards. Ultimately, the recycling facilities recover all usable materials.

The e-Stewards program for promoting electronic waste recycling has two objectives. The first goal is to raise awareness among consumers about the importance of recycling and, in turn, improve recycling rates. By providing incentives, e-waste recycling facilities will be able to improve their profitability. E-waste recycling is a vital part of our environment and society. Its safe, green, and profitable future depend on the right technology.

EPA estimates that more than 2.7 million tons of US consumer electronics were disposed of in landfills in 2009, with 25 percent going for recycling. Most of this waste is discarded because precious metals cannot be recovered from waste. The industry needs more accurate data to have a complete picture of the trade flows. Precise information provides valuable information to stakeholders.