Developed nations have e-recycling systems in place, unlike developing countries. Small developing countries are still struggling to set up theirs.
Developing countries experience a lot of technical constraints in e-recycling. First of all, they don’t have enough knowledge and expertise on how to recycle electronic devices, and recover materials from them. Electronic recycling is a new concept for them. Because of that, their manpower doesn’t have enough experience and skill to properly collect, recover, and recycling electronic waste.
They also don’t prioritize material recovery from thrown electronic devices. They don’t have programs that can train people to process electronic waste. And they don’t have the appropriate technologies that can help them.
A few developing countries, such as Egypt, are already starting to face the challenge of dealing with electronic waste. However, most of them rely on foreign aid and collaborative efforts from international NGOs to deal with their e-waste problems.
As mentioned previously, developing countries rely on the assistance that comes from developed countries. Because of that, they have little control on what type of help they receive. This situation often leads to efforts wasted because the solutions that developed countries offer are often incompatible to the problems, as regards to e-waste, that developing countries have.
Developing countries often have limited funding. The limitation makes it difficult for them to allot funding to e-recycling. They have other priorities, such as education, infrastructure, and other social programs, to fund after all.
It is also worth mentioning that developing countries consider end of life electronics unprofitable and risky.
Compared to developed countries, small and developing countries don’t generate the same amount of waste as developed countries. For example, a person in Brazil only generates 0.007 units of e-waste a year. On the other hand, a person in the United States generates 0.031 units of e-waste a year. It’s much cheaper to treat e-waste as regular waste and export them to other countries that can dispose it.
Regular Waste Management Problems
Developing countries might want to deal with e-waste, but they can’t because they still need to solve their problems with regular waste management. Primarily, they still struggle to collect and segregate waste – two processes that are key in e-recycling.
Aside from that, most of these developing countries still lack the support of the private sector as regards e-recycling. They don’t have companies that offer e-recycling services. Their citizens and business sectors mostly rely on the government to process the trash for them.
Partial Public Awareness
Developing countries fail to make the public aware on how e-waste should be handled, and how e-waste can impact their economies and health. They don’t even have any form of legislation related to e-waste.
Why Should You Be Concerned?
Electronic waste is not just a national problem. It’s a global issue that needs to be tackled by everyone in the world. You might not have the power to send help to other countries, but you do have the power to help lessen the burden for the world through e-recycling.