By Paul Ploumis 25 Aug 2015 Last updated at 06:14:06 GMT
BRUSSELS (Scrap Monster): The recent study conducted by the UK’s University of Sheffield indicates that more effective recycling of used electronics could significantly boost revenues of European nations. The paper titled “Recycling of WEEEs: An economic assessment of present and future e-waste streams”predicts that the region’s revenues could rise up to Euro 3.7 billion per annum.
The paper states that nearly 30 to 50 million tonnes of e-scrap are disposed worldwide every year. It highlights the prime importance of e-waste recycling opportunities. Electronic scrap worth Euro 2.15 billion in potential revenues was available in the region during 2014. This could increase substantially by over 70% to Euro 3.67 billion by 2020. The study emphasizes how potential revenues could be generated through recovery of valuable items including gold and platinum from disposed electronics such as notebooks, monitors, smart phones, hard drives and tablets.
The report by the University of Sheffield notes the importance of recovery of materials from electronic scrap to make the production of modern electronic and electrical equipment more economical. However, studies indicate that a sizable quantity of precious metals and other metals contained in e-scrap are still lost during recycling process.
Efficient recovery of precious, critical and rare earth materials would reduce the dependence on non-renewable materials and could also boost environmental sustainability, noted Professor Lenny Koh from the Sheffield University Management School.
Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipments (WEEEs) is currently considered to be one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, with an estimated growth rate going from 3% up to 5% per annum.