Last year, people from around the world have disposed of around 41.8 million tons of electrical and electronic equipment, as was stated in the report published by the United Nations.
The cost of such waste which could be utilized for secondary processing or recycling, as well as materials that can be extracted from the waste totals to an amount of 52 billion dollars. But only less than one-sixth of the total mass of ‘e-waste’ was recycled.
In all of the disposed garbage there was about 300 tons of gold. That is 11 percent of the world production. In addition, the waste had about 2.2 million tons of materials containing lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium.
About 60 percent of all the electronic waste is refrigerators, washing machines and other household appliances. The mobile phones, calculators, computers and printers account for only 7 percent of the total waste.
The lowest rates were observed in Africa — 1.7 kilograms per capita (the continent produced 1.9 million tons of garbage).
The ‘leaders’ of e-waste production were the United States and China (32 per cent of total waste). They were followed by Japan, Germany and India.
In 2013, the world produced 39.8 million tons of ‘e-waste’. In 2018 it is predicted that the figure will rise to 50 million tons.