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Electronic E Waste And Recycling
Waste from electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers and other digital devices is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, growing at a staggering 2 million tons per year, equivalent to approximately 9,000 Statues of Liberty. In 2019 alone, approximately 53 million tons of e-waste (excluding photovoltaic panels) were generated, and this is expected to exceed 74 million tons in 2030. Additionally, 80 to 85 percent of e-waste is not formally collected or properly managed.
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E-waste is often sent to developing countries and enters the informal sector, exacerbating human rights issues around the world. This waste is particularly hazardous because it contains a variety of toxic additives and hazardous substances, including mercury, brominated flame retardants (BFRs), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These materials, if not properly controlled, can expose residents to high levels of pollutants (such as lead and cadmium), air pollutants, and contaminated groundwater, which can lead to serious human health risks such as cancer, neurological damage, and reduced IQ.
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Electronic devices contain many valuable materials such as iron, copper, and gold, with a combined value of $57 billion (Kuehr et al., 2022). Only $10 billion is recycled in an environmentally friendly way, with the rest accumulating in landfills or open environments with high social risks (Forti 2020). Adopting a circular business model creates unique opportunities for companies to create value, reduce environmental and human health impacts, and generate profits.
Amid Large Amount Of E Waste, Recycling Efforts Start In South West District
The current economic system assumes a continuous supply of natural resources, resulting in a linear model of “get, make, use, dispose” (Centre 2015). Circular business models, on the other hand, focus on redesigning product and service systems to increase business opportunities and market competitiveness. Shifting to a circular economy model not only helps companies access untapped financial and business opportunities, but also reduces overall environmental impact. For example, one company recovered more than 100 times more gold from a ton of mobile phones than from conventional mining of a ton of gold ore (Ryder and Houlin 2019). To help realize the value of circular economy models and address key challenges related to e-waste, companies can leverage three alternative business models:
The sharing economy model helps generate revenue by providing services rather than selling products. This model changes the traditional producer-consumer relationship and re-evaluates the traditional value chain. For example, a company may lease electronics to consumers; once the device reaches its maximum useful life, the manufacturer recycles, preserves and refurbishes it. Furthermore, by investing in sustainable and modular design strategies, companies can increase product value by simplifying the disassembly and recyclability of materials and benefit from the recycling of precious metals (Atasu, Dumas, and Van Wassenh 2021).
To support the acquisition process of recyclable materials, digital tools such as digital passports and blockchain can help companies purchase materials from secondary markets and predict supply and demand dynamics (CEP 2022). Taking advantage of secondary markets is an effective strategy for companies to source scrap from other industries, such as aerospace and advanced manufacturing, to create carbon fiber reinforced polycarbonate bases that can be used to assemble new laptops (Murphy 2021). Using recyclable modular designs in universal models can optimize product search efficiency and extend product life.
Use The 300 & More E Waste Recycling Bins Across S’pore From July 1 & Redeem Shopping Vouchers
Another effective circular business strategy is the PAAS model. In this case, the customer pays a fee to use the electronic product but does not own the product. For example, an IT company might adopt a PAAS model for its computer hardware products and offer users a monthly subscription fee, which incentivizes the company to refurbish and refurbish its products upon return.
Through PAAS’s “pay-to-play” model, manufacturers have an incentive to produce products that incorporate product life extension (PLE) design, modularization and appropriate end-of-life treatment.
PLE designs may not be sufficient without a cost-effective and globally operating reverse logistics system to ensure the correct recycling and disassembly of products (CEP 2022). Because e-waste contains hazardous components, recyclers can use technology and artificial intelligence to correctly sort and identify the material content of products and employ robotics to dismantle materials while reducing health risks and contamination. For example, IT asset disposal (ITAD) and electronic equipment recycling companies can adapt to semiconductor shortages by leveraging technology to properly separate wafers from e-waste and increasing the use of precious metals (CEP 2022).
E Waste Disposal
Finally, companies can default to a traditional product ownership model that gives customers complete control over the product lifecycle. Unlike the sharing economy and PAAS models, in this model manufacturers lose the incentive to produce products that promote PLE and DFR (Principles of Circular Economy) principles.
In a product ownership model, a company identifies stages in a product’s life cycle where improvements can be made to extend the product’s useful life. Here, companies can emphasize product recyclability and modularity and incentivize consumers to return products for refurbishment or resale. Cellular equipment companies can develop buy-repair-exchange programs to promote proper recycling practices and expand secondary markets for recycled metals.
Circular e-waste business models offer companies unique opportunities to create value in the form of increased profitability and reduced environmental impact. When developing a holistic circular model for their business, companies should consider the following factors:
Get Money From Your E Waste With High Efficiency
By leveraging strategic circular economy business models to combat the e-waste tsunami, companies can capitalize on financial opportunities, strengthen value chain relationships, and create long-term organizational value.
Shubhra Verma, Brian Matthews, Kristin Bianca and Elizabeth Tual of Ernst & Young’s Climate Change and Sustainability practice contributed to this report.
Over the past five years, e-waste has grown three times faster than the world’s population and 13% faster than global GDP. The global amount of e-waste is growing at an alarming rate, leading to growing environmental and health problems, especially in economically developing countries. This increase has also led to an estimated loss of at least $57 billion in raw materials such as iron, copper and gold. This article explores the role companies can play by integrating circularity into their electronics design and recycling strategies to achieve environmental and economic benefits.
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E Waste Recycle
The move is part of the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) e-waste scheme, which comes into effect on July 1.
The EPR scheme ensures that producers are responsible for the waste they generate through collection, treatment and disposal.
The bins will be located in public places such as city centres, shopping malls, government buildings, neighborhood centers, community centres, supermarkets and retail stores.
More Than 300 E Waste Recycling Bins To Be Deployed From July
Residents can recycle their used electronics such as printers, computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, internet equipment, set-top boxes and desktop monitors, light bulbs and portable batteries.
In exchange for recycling, citizens receive points that can be exchanged for shopping vouchers.
Currently, NEA and German waste management company ALBA, NEA’s designated Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS) operator, have soft-start recycling bins at four locations.
Electronic Waste Recycling
The nine sites are selected Dairy Farm Group (which operates Giant cold storage and supermarkets) and Harvey Norman stores:
The aforementioned bins located at Giant Cold Storage and hypermarkets only accept smaller electronics such as batteries and light bulbs.
As of July 1, a list of all dumpster locations can be found on the NEA website or the ALBA website.
How To Reduce E Waste
Major retailers such as Dairy Farm Group and Harvey Norman play an important role in e-waste management under the EPR scheme.
Under the Resource Sustainability Act (RSA), retailers operate stores with an area of 300 square meters or
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