Mixed amongst the 42 million tonnes of eWaste discarded every year is, reportedly, gold worth more than £7bn.
With less than 16 percent of global eWaste being diverted from landfills to recycling centres, recyclable materials worth more than £34bn are being lost.
A report by the United Nations University (UNU) reveals that the amount of “e-waste” generated globally is also likely to reach 50 megatonnes by 2018.
Among the resources being lost are 300 tonnes of gold as well as 1,000 tonnes of silver worth £400m and 16 megatonnes of steel with a value of £6.5bn.
The mountain of waste also contains alarming quantities of toxins, including 4,400 tonnes of ozone-depleting chemicals and 2.2 megatonnes of lead glass.
Britain a Major Offender
Britain is one of the world’s most profligate producers of eWaste, ranking fifth in the weight of material discarded per person. Each Briton is now generating 23.5kg each year.
The UK was also sixth worldwide in the total amount of eWaste the country generated at 1.5 megatonnes. This is close to the level in India, which has 20 times the population.
According to the report, Britain, along with other European Union countries, was missing an opportunity to ensure that the demand for consumer durables resulted in a thriving recycling industry.
The UNU report said that only one-third of eWaste in the UK is recycled through recognised schemes, such as ours. This figure must reach 85 percent under EU rules by 2019.
Reports like this show how seriously the issue of eWaste needs to be taken.
Unless consumers and businesses start recycling and reusing old technology then the problem will continue to grow.
If you would like to speak to someone at Tier 1 about disposing of your unwanted computer hardware then call us on 0161 777 1000.