Report offers detailed US analysis
A report released in tandem with the map was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Materials Systems Laboratory and the US National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER), and funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency in support of the US government's National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship.
The detailed analysis of the United States' generation, collection and export of some types of used electronics shows that about 258.2 million used, whole unit computers, monitors, TVs and mobile phones were generated in 2010.
The study, Quantitative Characterization of Domestic and Transboundary Flows of Used Electronics, found mobile phones constitute the biggest component in units with an estimated 120 million collected while TVs and computer monitors made up a major proportion of the total weight.
Despite growing interest and concern surrounding transboundary movements of used electronics around the world, there is a dearth of data on their movements. Although a multitude of different data sources exist, coherent sets of information on used electronics leaving households and their movement are lacking because of inherent challenges in obtaining such information, both the StEP e-waste world map and the MIT/NCER study are addressing.
These challenges include limited mechanisms for data collection, undifferentiated trade codes, lack of consistent definitions for categorizing and labelling used electronics as well as their components, minimal regulatory oversight, and limited agreement on the definitions of end uses (i.e., reuse vs. recycling and shipments for repair vs. recycling).
Two-thirds of the used units (56 percent of total weight) were collected for reuse or recycling and 8.5 per cent of the collected units (3.1 percent of total weight) were exported as whole units. This export figure, based on
|Contact: Terry Collins
United Nations University