Some of the top problems facing your company may include
- the growth in eWaste exceeds the capacity of available infrastructure
- too few recycling facilities / infrastructure
- risk of fire during the dismantling process due to highly combustible materials being handled by outdated equipment
- the high costs to segregate eWaste from other waste streams due to commingling
- the high costs to separate eWaste into its constituent parts due to complex manufacturing processes
- smaller recyclers in the supply chain who mishandle eWaste
- the gaps in data collection
- landfills are full with no new landfills planned
Thoughtful eWaste Recyclers encourage their customers to generate less eWaste. You embed sustainable practices within you supply chain. You also maximize opportunities to be efficient. You either reuse the entire product, or salvage the reusable parts.
Just 15% of eWaste is recycled on a global basis. This percentage is not moving. A drastic change in approach is necessary.
In the short term, invest in solutions to make your supply chains more transparent. Discover bad actors. Determine if the failures arise from a lack of education, a lack of funds, inappropriate tools and infrastructure, or because they can get away with it.
Resist the temptation to lobby governments to loosen their regulatory requirments. Instead, focus on garnering media attention. Educate journalists (and, by extension, the public) about the ongoing problems with methane at landfills or microparticules from waste incineration.
When you bid for waste contracts, list all the costs involved to properly remediate eWaste. Do so even if you plan to give your customer a discount. Pay your suppliers more so that they can handle the eWaste effectively. Increase your employee health and safety budget. Protect staff who handle eWaste from exposure to toxins.
In the long term, advocate for eWaste mining. The world can not keep mining for new critical minerals to power our devices, wind farms and electric vehicles. We must extract or "mine" the minerals we need from already abandoned electronics and electricals.
eWaste mining is a term that has been around for a long time without any tangible practices. But eWaste mining can become the new standard once we set targets.
Start by actively publicising your efforts. Create an eWaste mining program. Partner with others. Work with us.