Millions of mobile phones, laptops, and tablets are being dumped illegally in developing countries every year.

The UN has warned that eWaste is expected to grow by 33% in the next four years. This means the waste will weigh the equivalent of EIGHT Egyptian pyramids, according to the UN’s Step initiative.

Step was set up to tackle the world’s growing e-waste crisis.

7kg per head

Nearly 50m tonnes of e-waste was generated worldwide in the last year alone. That’s nearly 7kg for every person on the planet.

The level of eWaste being shipped to the developing world was recently revealed by Interpol. Almost one in three containers that were checked before leaving the EU contained illegal e-waste.

Ruediger Kuehr, executive secretary of Step, said:

The explosion is happening because there’s so much technical innovation. TVs, mobile phones, and computers are all being replaced more and more quickly. The lifetime of products is also shortening.

Fastest growing waste source

According to the Step report, eWaste is now the world’s fastest growing waste source. China alone generated 11.1m tonnes last year.

Britain is now the world’s seventh worst offender, throwing away 1.37m tonnes of eWaste last year; approximately 21kg per person.

In the US, only 12 million mobile phones were collected for recycling in 2011. This is despite the fact that 120 million were purchased.

As newer models race to market, more and more old models end up in a landfill. The failure to recycle is also leading to shortages of rare-earth minerals to produce future generations of electronic equipment.

Whilst it is inevitable that eWaste will become a larger issue as an increasing amount of new technology is created, it is imperative that we, as a society, recycle rather than simply sending waste to landfill.

That’s key to the work we do here at Tier 1. Wherever possible, we will refurbish and reuse any hardware that is sent to us. Reusing is far less time consuming and much more cost effective than recycling.

However, if a piece of hardware has reached the end of its life then we will make sure that every component is recovered – meaning that nothing goes to landfill.

If you would like to talk to someone at Tier 1 about responsibly disposing of your unwanted IT then call us on 0161 777 1000.

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