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Selena Alexander B.S. Civil Engineering University of Wisconsin - Madison
Issues with E-waste How does e-waste get recycled safely without harm to the environment? Are there any energy savings associated with recycling e-waste? Why did they guarantee that no electronics would be exported to developing countries?
According to the EPA: 2.4 million tons of e-waste were ready for recycling in 2009 3% of Global Municipal Waste Only 25% of it was recycled or reused
E-Cycling in Wisconsin 2009 Wisconsin Act 50 : Bans TV’s, Computers, and cell phones from landfills and incinerators Manufacturer’s pay for them to be recycled 35 million lb or 6.2 lb of e-waste per person 1% of total e-waste disposed
According to the EPA:
Where’s the other 75%? 5 Million tons in Storage 73% ends up in landfills 2% is incinerated 80% of the 25% recycled e-waste still ends up in Developing Countries!!!
Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) ~50% of recycled material Contains 8% lead by weight (2-4kg) Reference: Computershopper.com
Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) Reference: Wikipedia.org
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) 3 to 5% of e-waste Hard to recycle due to Lead solder Reference: flexiblecircuitpcb.com
Method of recycling PCBs -Plastic -Fe & Ni -Al
Materials in PCBs Percent of Weight: 5% Aluminum 20% Copper 7% Iron 1.5% Lead 23% Plastics
Tons of Material per year 6,000 tons Aluminum 24,000 tons Copper 8,400 tons Iron 1,800 tons Lead 27,600 tons Plastic
Energy Savings of Materials Energy Savings of Recycled materials over Virgin materials: 95% Aluminum 85% Copper 74% Iron 65% Lead 80% Plastic 342,200 Btu/ton of material mined 5,986,000 Btu/ton produced by PCBs Plastics
Dollars of Energy Savings Annually in the United States Aluminum - $62,884 Copper - $225,056 Iron - $68,576 Lead - $12,907 Plastic - $4,261,078 energy produced Total: $4,561,925 in energy savings and production
Bridging the ‘Digital Divide’ Most waste from Europe, United States, Canada, and Japan goes to China, India, and Africa Increase in Technology Lack of Environmental Laws Cheap Labor Lack of Work Safety Reference: trade2save.com
Recycling Techniques in Developing Countries Mechanical Shedding of Equipment Open Burning of Plastics and Wires Acid Leaching and Heating of PCBs Reference: trade2save.com
Guiyu, China $130 million dollar recycling business 9 out of 10 people have health problems (skin, nervous, respiratory, or digestive) Results: Pb, Cu, Ni, & Cd poisoning Contaminated food from: milk, crops, & fish High amounts of air & water pollutants Increase health risks to workers Reference: trade2save.com
PCBs in U.S. Shredded mechanically Metals separated by magnetics, currents, and electrostatics Thermally treated Safety Equipment Reference: waste-management-world.com
Local Ways to Recycle E-waste Computers: Cell Phones: Other:
References Nnorom, I. C., Osibanj, O. (2008). Electronic waste (e-waste): Material flows and management practices in Nigeria. Waste Management, 28 (8), Kahhat, R., Kim, J., Xu, M., Allenby, B., Williams, E., Zhang, P. (2008).Exploring e-waste management systems in the United States. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 52 (7), 955–964. Xing, G. H., Chan, J. K., Leung, A. O., Wu, S. C., Wong, M.H. (2009). Environmental impact and human exposure to PCBs in Guiyu, an electronic waste recycling site in China. Environmental International, 35 (1), Hageluken, C. (2006). Improving metal returns and eco-efficiency in electronics recycling. Electronics and the Environment, Proceeding of the 2006 IEEE International Symposium, Chatterjee, S., Kumar, K. (2009). Effective Electronic Waste Management and Recycling Process Involving Formal and Non-f ormal Sectors. International Journal of Physical Sciences, 4 (13), ICF International. (2011). Electronics Waste Management in the United States Through U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, 1-49.