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United Nations identifies e-waste as an urgent and growing problem, wants change

Vlad Savov
February 23, 2010
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E-waste might be one of the biggest misnomers in the history of nomery -- the image it creates in the mind is of a bunch of email and document files clogging up your local internet pipes. The reality of it is that electronic waste is rapidly populating ever-growing landfill areas in so-called developing countries (they're poor, just call a spade a spade) and the issue has now garnered the attention of the United Nations. The UN Environment Programme has issued a wideranging report warning that e-waste in China and South Africa could double or even quadruple within the next decade, whereas India could experience a five-fold rise. Major hazards exist in the unregulated and informal recycling of circuit boards and techno gadgets, as processes like backyard incineration for the retrieval of gold generate toxic gases while also being wildly inefficient. The whole point of the report is to encourage some global cooperation in setting up modern and safe recycling facilities in the affected countries to ameliorate the problem, though being generally more careful in our consumption and disposal of electronics wouldn't do the environment's chances any harm either.

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