Global E-waste Monitor 2017 shows 20 per cent e-waste recycled

A new report has found Australia, New Zealand and other nations of Oceania are the highest per capita e-waste generators, with only six per cent formally collected and recycled.

The Global E-waste Monitor 2017 was developed collaboratively by United Nations University (UNU) and hosted by UNU’s Vice-Rectorate in Europe, the International Telecommunication Union and the International Solid Waste Association.

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It uses data from 2016 and shows that the world generated 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste that year – equal to 4500 Eiffel Towers, with only 20 per cent of this recycled. The report foresees this to increase by 17 per cent to 52.2 million metric tonnes by 2021.

The estimated value of recoverable materials that year was US $55 billion. Meanwhile, about 4 per cent of 2016’s e-waste is being thrown into landfills, with about 76 per cent presumed to be incinerated.

Europe, including Russia, was found to be the second largest e-waste generator per inhabitant with an average of 16.6 kg per inhabitant. Europe still had the highest collection rate at 35 per cent.

The Americas generate 11.6kg per inhabitant and collect 17 per cent, while Asia collects 15 per cent and generates 4.2kg per inhabitant.

Read the full report here.