Recycling of ICT Equipment in Industrialized and Developing Countries

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 310)


The increasing penetration of society with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is resulting in growing waste volumes. Typical of this waste is the combination of its intrinsic value due to the high content of basic and precious metals with health and environmental hazards caused by the occurrence of toxic substances in combination with inadequate recycling practices. Based on the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), industrialized countries have legislated WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) management. As a consequence, producers established take-back schemes. In developing countries, the absence of a legal framework and formal recycling infrastructure as well as the presence of the self-organized informal sector has complicated similar efforts. In some countries, progress could be achieved through the promulgation of a legal framework and the establishment of basic recycling infrastructure. The environmental and social aspects associated with the improper recycling of WEEE and the sustainable reintegration of secondary resources demands strong efforts from industry, government, and civil society.


WEEE E-waste ICT waste Formal recycling Informal recycling Secondary resources 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and TechnologySt. GallenSwitzerland
  2. 2.World Resources Forum AssociationSt. GallenSwitzerland

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