How much electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) is generated in your country? How much of that is collected for recycling, material recovery, or proper disposal?
Globalewaste.org is a new open source portal that visualises e-waste data and statistics globally, by region and by country. By providing a one-stop source of comparable national data on e-waste, the site can help policymakers, industry, academia, and the general public track global progress towards enacting e-waste legislation and achieving recycling goals.
E-waste — discarded equipment such as smart phones, laptops and desktop computers, refrigerators, sensors, and TVs — contains substances that pose substantial environmental and health risks, especially if inadequately treated or improperly disposed of. If properly handled through appropriate recycling chains and methods, however, e-waste presents a resource opportunity that is worth over US$62.5 billion per year, with the potential of creating millions of decent new jobs worldwide.
The Globalewaste.org web portal was officially launched today by the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership. Founded in 2017 by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations University (represented by the UNU Vice-Rectorate in Europe Sustainable Cycles Programme), and International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), the Partnership monitors developments of e-waste over time and helps countries to produce better e-waste statistics.
The portal provides e-waste data for most countries, including:
Latest estimates (see The Global E-waste Monitor 2017) show that the world now discards approximately 50 million tonnes of e-waste per year — an amount greater in weight than all of the commercial airliners ever made — of which only about 20% is formally recycled.
As an example of the kind of comparative data available via the portal’s interactive map: In 2016, Japan generated 2,139 kilotonnes of e-waste, only 26% of which was formally collected. On a per capita average basis, each Japanese resident discarded 16.9 kilograms of e-waste – less than the the average levels of the USA and Germany (19.4 kg and 22.8 kg per person, respectively), but far above the Asian per capita average of 4.2 kg.
The portal also details how countries can be supported through capacity building activities of the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership to enhance e-waste data collection.
For more, see today’s press release.