IT & Systems Management

Infoshot: Global eWaste

The United Nations University has just released a new report, The Global E-waste Monitor 2014: Quantities, Flows and Resources, looking at global eWaste. The amount of discarded electrical and electronic equipment reached a record 41.8 million tonnes in 2014, with IT devices – including phones, personal computers, and printers — accounting for 7% [or 2.9 million tonnes] of that figure.

The technology industry’s habit for rapid obsolescence has seen that figure rise by around 2 million tonnes for the last five years and predicted to rise 20% to almost 50 million by 2018. Shockingly, only a sixth of the world’s eWaste is estimated to be properly recycled or made available for reuse.

The report labels this pile of discarded washing machines and computer both a gold mine and a toxic hazard. This discarded material contains some 16.5 million tonnes of iron, 1.9 million tonnes of copper, 1.4 million tonnes of precious metals [gold, silver, palladium] that together have a combined estimated value of $52 billion. There’s also nearly 300,000 tonnes of batteries to contend with, along with large amounts of toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium, chromium and lead; which can all cause serious harm to anyone exposed.



« Mellanox: What does faster Ethernet mean?


Will using your Apple Watch land you a traffic ticket? »
Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

  • twt
  • twt
  • twt
  • Mail

Recommended for You

How to (really) evaluate a developer's skillset

Adrian Bridgwater’s deconstruction & analysis of enterprise software

Unicorns are running free in the UK but Brexit poses a tough challenge

Trevor Clawson on the outlook for UK Tech startups

Cloudistics aims to trump Nutanix with 'superconvergence' play

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends


Is your organization fully GDPR compliant?