E-Waste Management: A Profit Making Industry
Hemant Gaule, Anchal Gupta, and Arvind Kumar Mungray*Department of Chemical Engg. Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat-395007, IndiaAbstract
Over the past two decades, the volume of electrical and electronic waste has increased by lessthan half a million units annually in the mid-1980s to over twenty million units worldwide by 2007.People are upgrading their electronic devices more frequently than before. Not only is E-Waste being generated at an alarming rate, but it is being handled improperly widely, most of it beingdumped or incinerated directly into the environment.The waste contains many valuable substances, some in larger concentrations than their ownrespective ores; but unfortunately these substances are being extracted by highly inappropriatemethods, which result in liberation of many hazardous compounds. E-Waste contains elements thatare poisonous carcinogens, and so improper disposal of the waste gives them a dangerous exposureto the environment, since most of these are also quite volatile.If appropriate means are employed to extract these substances, they can produce huge revenues.In other words, recycling is perhaps the most lucrative of all the management options for E-Waste.Creation of such a comprehensive recycling process will involve review of the entire life-cycle of the electronic gadget, right from the materials and processes employed to manufacture it, to its possible use after it’s rendered obsolete. For instance, the knowledge of who are the major producersof E-Waste to where it ends up, how it ends up there and how can it be handled, preferably, recycledafter that.