This is also a true loss of resources which could re-enter the manufacturing cycle. For every million cell phones that are recycled, 16 000 kg of copper, 350 kg of silver, 24 kg of gold, and 14 kg of palladium could be recovered. E-waste is a true ‘urban mine’, and in some respects even richer than traditional mining: for example, there is 100 times more gold in a tonne of smartphones than in a tonne of gold ore.
“Alongside convenience, (financial) compensation, care for environment, culture and social norms, awareness is one of the key motivators for people to take action and return their unused and non-functional electronic items” says Magdalena Charytanowicz, in charge of the organisation of International E-Waste Day. “This is why on 14 October this year we want to promote the proper disposal of end-of-life electronics and reach as many citizens worldwide as possible by encouraging campaigns and awareness activities. These may be e-waste collections, school lectures, press and social media campaigns or conferences that debate these issues. Even the smallest action promoting sound e-waste collection, repair, reuse or recycling is welcome in the frame of International E-Waste Day.”
Last year over 120 organisations from 50 countries worldwide supported the celebrations. This year too the WEEE Forum invites all organisations involved in effective and responsible e-waste management to plan awareness raising activities for 14 October and join this common effort by registering here.