E-waste encompasses a broad and growing range of electronic devices ranging from large household appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, hand-held cellular phones, personal stereos, and consumer electronics to computers.
E-waste has become a problem of crisis proportions because of two primary characteristics:
Â¢ E-waste is hazardous â€
E-waste contains over 1,000 different substances, many of which are toxic, and creates serious pollution upon disposal. Just some of the materials found in computers can be found in Annex I. A full discussion of the hazardous characteristics of E-waste is at the Hazards in E-Waste section of this report.
Â¢ E-waste is generated at alarming rates due to obsolescence â€
Due to the extreme rates of obsolescence, E-waste produces much higher volumes of waste in comparison to other consumer goods. Where once consumers purchased a stereo console or television set with the expectation that it would last for a decade or more, the increasingly rapid evolution of technology combined with rapid product obsolescence has effectively rendered everything disposable. Consumers now rarely take broken electronics to a repair shop as replacement is now often easier and cheaper than repair.
The average lifespan of a computer has shrunk from four or five years to two years.1 Part of this rapid obsolescence is the result of a rapidly evolving technology. But it is also clear that such obsolescence and the throw away ethic results in a massive increase in corporate profits, particularly when the electronics industry does not have to bear the financial burden of downstream costs. Now expert and scientists are looking for reducing the e waste and they suggest different solutions