Recycling of Electric and Electronic Waste Term Paper

Pages: 10 (4295 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 31  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Transportation - Environmental Issues

Recycling of Electric and Electronic Waste

In the process of discussing the waste from electronic and electric industries in Europe, we will first have to look at the basic structures as have been provided. The first of these is for the governments to fix take back requirements for the industries as also the take back specifications for them. Then they have to provide incentives for design of these items in a more efficient way for the environmental purposes. So far as the consumers are concerned they should be able to return their equipment free of charge for further disposal by the manufacturer. The first directive in this regard was issued dated 27 January 2003 and was to be implemented on 13 February 2003. The regulations for the acts by different governments were to be made during 2005. (EU Directive on Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE))

For the purpose of disposal and recycling the products were divided into groups: large and small household appliances, it and telecommunications equipment, consumer and lighting equipment, electrical and electronic tools without inclusion of the large tools used in industry which are stationary; toys, leisure and sports equipment, medical devices, monitoring and control instruments and automatic dispensers. The applications of the rules will be directly applicable on the 'distributors' and 'producers'. These rules will not apply in way to the component manufacturers. The requirements will come from the users and the responsibility for the equipment will come down the chain to the manufacturer.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Recycling of Electric and Electronic Waste Assignment

It is estimated that the average collection per household will be of the order of 4 Kg. For some items like large household appliances and automatic dispensers, it is estimated that about 80% of them will be returned in a condition suitable for recovery and of them about 75% will be suited for recycling and consequent re-use. So far as ICT and consumer electronics items are concerned the estimates are for 75% of waste recovery and of them 65% of re-use through recycling. When one gets down to the small household appliances, lighting equipment, electrical and electronic tools, toys, leisure and sports equipment and control and monitoring instruments the figures are expected to be 70% waste recovery and 50% of re-use or recycling. (EU Directive on Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE))

The latest revisions have come regarding the responsibilities of different parties involved and it has been decided that the producers will have to install systems for taking back the items and that will not involve any cost to the users of the items. These points may be at the user level or from public collection points. The systems may be at individual or collective levels. The producers will not charge any fee for the process of re-use, recycling or disposal, as may be applicable. The distributors may take up the responsibility of disposing of the material if they wish to. For the items which have not been sold to consumer level customers, producers have to provide for the suitable choice when the customer is on a business relationship with the seller. In any case, the producer will be responsible for collection, re-use, recycling, disposal and all costs of new systems of this nature.

To help the movement and progress of the principle, the member countries shall be responsible for the design and production of these items in a manner that will produce suitable products. The 'new' products should be easier to dismantle and recover. The states are also to give priority to the reuse and recycling of these products, their components and materials. In this context, the member states shall have to take suitable steps to stop the producers from incorporating special design features that stop these items from being reused at least in cases when such alteration does not provide great advantages in terms of manufacturing or use of the product. In this context, the most important considerations are the protections of environment and safety. (EU Directive on Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)) it is clear that his law has been passed at the European Union and all members have to observe it. The date given as of now is the end of the year. Even for new members, there may be only delays in terms of the date the law is applicable, but the law will not change. However since the law has still not started applying fully, one has to wait and see what happens. (Directive 2003/108/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 December2003)

Regarding legalization of the entire process, it has been decided that member states shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary for the states to comply with the Directives regarding this by 13th August, 2004. This means that they have to ensure informing the Commission by 13th August, 2005 of the financing costs that will be involved for the costs of collection, treatment, recovery and disposal in an environmentally sound manner of the products coming under the waste from electrical and electronic products other than private households by the producers of items that are sold after 13 August 2005. This is to be provided by the producers.

Member states are also to ensure before 13 August 2005 for the disposal of the waste that has been generated before that period from those products, and this is called historical waste for easy reference. This will require funds and management which will have to be provided. There is also the question of new products that are being developed to fulfill the same functions as those products which are now out of date. The finance for these costs shall be provided by the producers of those products which were in those states when the product was supplied. The alternative solution that may be provided by the member states that even producers other than those who did not produce the products may also be partially or totally responsible for providing this finance. For all historical waste, the financing shall have to be provided by the users other than private households. (Directive 2003/108/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 December2003)

Now let us look at the importance of this legislation and its impact. Almost all consumer items have electrical parts and those can damage the environment when not disposed correctly. The methods of tackling with these items are becoming more and more difficult as the life spans of these items are getting shorter. Apart from this, their usage is also increasing and that means the quantities being thrown away are increasing. Let us now look at some of the items that come under the purview of this law. These are like large household appliances like refrigerators/freezers, washing machines, dishwashers; small household appliances like toasters, coffee makers, irons, hairdryers; information technology and telecommunications equipments like personal computers, telephones, mobile phones, laptops, printers, scanners, photocopiers, consumer equipments like televisions, stereo equipment, electric toothbrushes, transistor radios; lighting equipments like fluorescent lamps; electrical and electronic tools like handheld drills, saws, screwdrivers; toys like Play station, Game boy, etc. And medical equipment systems excluding the exception of all implanted and infected products. (Waste from electrical and electronic equipment)

The above are common and items of everyday usage. These contain items that can be re-used like Monitoring and control instruments, automatic dispensers, printed circuit boards, cathode ray tubes, wires and cables, mercury switches, batteries, light generators like lamps, capacitors and resistors, sensors and connectors. These are very useful as they contain substances that are considered to be harmful to the environment and human health, especially if disposed in a careless manner. The quantity of these items present is not large, but for the environment they can cause a lot of damage. The directive of the European Union states that these items have to be substituted by 1 July 2006. These items are mercury, cadmium, lead, hexavalent chromium, poly-brominated di-phenyl ethers and poly-brominated bi-phenyls. The other substances that remain in these electrical and electronic wastes are arsenic, polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorofluorocarbons and hydro-chloro-fluorocarbons, nickel and asbestos. (Waste from electrical and electronic equipment)

Now let us look at the position of a bigger country like UK and as per estimates there is a generation of 1 million tons of waste electronic and electrical equipment in this country as they are thrown away by householders and commercial groups. It is important to deal with this waste as the life of these items is very short and this is leading to more quantities of obsolete and broken equipment being put aside. In the entire continent of Europe, it is noted that it makes up about 4% of the total municipal waste and the growth of this waste is three times faster than any other waste. The utility of the items in this group were different in functions and they also contain different material. As an example one can note that television sets generally contain 6% of metal and 50% of glass whereas a cooker consists of 89%… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Recycling of Electric and Electronic Waste" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Recycling of Electric and Electronic Waste.  (2005, June 29).  Retrieved July 5, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Recycling of Electric and Electronic Waste."  29 June 2005.  Web.  5 July 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Recycling of Electric and Electronic Waste."  June 29, 2005.  Accessed July 5, 2020.