Just as the commercial sales of consumer electronic products such as cell phones and PC’s are on the rise in developing countries, a monstrous problem in the form of electronics waste is expanding as well.
Many of the nations about which the greatest concern arises does so because of both the rate of waste growth and the recycling practices which are the norm. Countries like China and India are expected to see e-waste levels rise by as much as 500% by 2020; parts of Latin America and Africa may see lesser, but likewise proportionately dramatic expansion as well.
The necessity for modern, or at least humane and efficient, processing methods and facilities has never been more imminent, considering the amount of hazardous materials that may be present in any of the discarded devices. These chemicals, including mercury, lead, and others, if improperly discarded, may pose serious public health threats, and should only be dealt with responsibly.
The international community, however, on the larger scale, is still grossly unaware of the e-waste problems, and instead relies primarily on local organizations and communities to handle the issues on their own. More pressure from the international community, particularly those nations who have comprehensive, simple recycling standards and practices, is desperately needed at this time.