As the adoption of consumer electronics, mobile phones, and computer equipment continues to increase around the world, the business and environmental challenges associated with electronic device disposition at end-of-life (EOL) grow greater and greater. According to a new report from Pike Research, as devices become obsolete and are replaced, the total volume and weight of EOL electronics, which is known as e-scrap, will more than double in the next 15 years, rising from 676 million cubic feet (and 6.0 million tons) in 2010 to 1,465 million cubic feet (and 14.9 million tons) by 2025. This trend will place increasing pressure on industry players, governments, and advocacy groups to find new ways to expand electronics recycling and reuse. E-scrap that is not recycled, reused, or stored becomes e-waste and is buried, incinerated, or dumped, representing a significant environmental hazard.
During the same forecast period, Pike Research anticipates that the electronics recycling movement will make strong progress, and the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that electronics recycling and reuse will rise from 122 million cubic feet (and 1.1 million tons) per year in 2010 to 789 million cubic feet (and 7.9 million tons) annually by 2025. By the early 2020s, the firm expects that recycling and reuse activity will surpass the annual volume and weight of electronic devices that become e-waste, and thus will play a large part in mitigating the e-waste crisis. However, these promising trends will still not be enough to solve the entire problem, as Pike Research anticipates that the total volume of e-waste in landfills will continue increasing throughout the period. Continue reading