E-waste, discarded electronics, from computers to cell phones to TVs, are now the fastest-growing waste stream in the U.S. It is also big business: Hundreds of companies buy and sell the discarded components and materials, generating a $6 billion market in the U.S. But e-waste, which contains such toxics as lead and mercury, is often dumped illegally in the U.S. or shipped to developing countries by shady dealers.
ABI Research said that last year the market for e-waste recovery globally was around $5.7 billion. This revenue is described as money generated through reclamation of valuable materials from e-scrap. A number of factors drive this growth, including rising rates of e-waste collection and recycling, larger availability of more cost-effective recycling technologies and “the integration of formal and informal recycling markets in key Asia-Pacific locations.”
“The combined impact of the ongoing global economic recovery and strengthening e-waste recycling legislation worldwide will drive improved recycling/recovery rates in each of the next five years,” said ABI director Larry Fisher in a statement.