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Waste Manag Res. 2007 Aug;25(4):307-18.

Electrical and electronic waste: a global environmental problem.

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Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi-630 006, India.


The production of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is one of the fastest growing global manufacturing activities. This development has resulted in an increase of waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE). Rapid economic growth, coupled with urbanization and growing demand for consumer goods, has increased both the consumption of EEE and the production of WEEE, which can be a source of hazardous wastes that pose a risk to the environment and to sustainable economic growth. To address potential environmental problems that could stem from improper management of WEEE, many countries and organizations have drafted national legislation to improve the reuse, recycling and other forms of material recovery from WEEE to reduce the amount and types of materials disposed in landfills. Recycling of waste electric and electronic equipment is important not only to reduce the amount of waste requiring treatment, but also to promote the recovery of valuable materials. EEE is diverse and complex with respect to the materials and components used and waste streams from the manufacturing processes. Characterization of these wastes is of paramount importance for developing a cost-effective and environmentally sound recycling system. This paper offers an overview of electrical and e-waste recycling, including a description of how it is generated and classified, strategies and technologies for recovering materials, and new scientific developments related to these activities. Finally, the e-waste recycling industry in India is also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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