Electronic Waste Material Value Three-times more than World’s Silver Deposits
The World Economic Forum recently published an article explaining the enormous challenge we face as a civilization regarding discarded electronics and electronic waste. The two authors of the article, “The World’s e-waste is a huge problem. It’s also a golden opportunity” – Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Houlin Zhao, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – describe the motivation behind improving the circular economy. There is a vast gap between our current reality and the potential we have if we can improve our electronic recycling processes. Below are some staggering statistics that illuminate the challenges and the opportunities:
- $62.5 billion-worth of value in our discarded electronics worldwide
- $62.5 billion is more than the Gross Domestic Product of over 120 countries
- 20% of all electronic waste is currently recycled
- 80% is either incinerated or landfilled
- The International Telecommunications Union set a goal to increase e-waste recycling to 30%
- There is 100 x more gold in a metric ton of mobile phones than in a ton of gold ore
- 50 million tons of electronic waste are produced each year
- 50 million tons is equivalent to all commercial aircraft ever built throughout history, or 4,500 Eiffel Towers. That is one year of electronic waste!
Midwest ComTel is already engaged in the fight to maintain sound environmental practices and extract value from electronic waste and surplus electronics. We are unique in our ability to find value in product that others discard, whether that be refurbishing and increasing its value through our value-added processes, selling it to other repair houses, or recycling it. Our ability to not only resell, but to also recycle allows us to handle electronic equipment from several industries – telecommunications, POS and barcoding, cable television, security, networking, and medical.
Source of statistics and photo: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/how-a-circular-approach-can-turn-e-waste-into-a-golden-opportunity/