7 ways to boost e-waste recycling – and why it matters

May 13, 2024

Johnny Wood, WEForum.com, April 15, 2024

Technological advancements continue to transform our world, but the result is a cascade of unwanted devices that are becoming the fastest-growing waste stream on the planet.

Global e-waste almost doubled in the past 12 years reaching 62 billion kilogrammes (kg) in 2022, and is projected to increase to 82 billion kg by 2030.

The total of 62 billion kg of e-waste generated in 2022 is enough to fill 1.55 million 25-metre-long trucks forming a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam stretching 40,000 kilometres around Earth’s equator, according to The Global E-waste Monitor 2024 report produced by the United Nations.

However, just over 22% of all that waste was formally collected and recycled, the report notes.

Our discarded phones, tablets, laptops and other gadgets are worth $62.5 billion each year and, per tonne, contain 100 times more gold than the same weight of gold ore. And, yet, only about one-fifth of the world’s e-waste is recycled.

But here are seven initiatives aimed at boosting e-waste recycling rates to reuse the valuable metals and minerals contained in our old devices.

1. Colorful collections

Cambridge City Council in the UK now provides bright pink bins to collect residents’ discarded small electrical goods and reduce the quantity of e-waste that ends up in regular recycling collections.

These appliances cannot be included in curbside recycling bins, but they contain much-needed materials like copper and lithium.

Around 49 tonnes of small electrical appliances have been deposited into the eye-catching collection bins since they were installed in 2022, ready for reuse or recycling.

To access the full article, click here. 

Learn more about how ReturnCenter is helping address the e-waste crisis through our services.