Global E-Waste Monitor 2014: UN Report

United Nations University

[CBS] The United States and China are the world’s biggest producers of electronic waste and most of the home appliances, computers and smartphones they toss out are never recycled.

A report from United Nations University (UNU) found that the world produced 41.8 million metric tons of e-waste in 2014…

And while the United States and China together produce just over a third of the e-waste, the top per capita producers were wealthy nations of northern and western Europe – Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.

Conversely, the lowest producers were in the developing world including Africa and Oceania.

Only a sixth of e-waste – defined as equipment with a cord or battery – is recycled or reused. The rest, as has long been documented, ends up in landfills, mostly Africa and other parts of the developing world, where scavengers salvage valuable components and minerals from them. Many of the discarded electronics contain toxic materials…


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