EPA, UNU team up to track e-scrap

EPA, UNU team up to track e-scrap

By Jake Thomas, Resource Recycling

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has partnered with the United Nations University to track shipments of end-of-life electronics to Africa and Asia.

With the goal of gaining more accurate information on the growing mounds of obsolete electronics generated in the U.S. each year, and the health and pollution problems associated with them, the EPA has awarded a five-year, $2.5 million grant the UNU’s Institute for Sustainability and Peace to help authorities track shipments of electronics from North America. The grant will also provide assistance to countries in Africa and Asia dealing with e-waste imports.

There are five objectives under the agreement:

  • Determine the routes that electronics are leaving the country and assess the methodologies that may be used to quantify amounts.
  • Harmonize international efforts, including research, tracking, data collection, analysis and information sharing by working with port officials in West Africa and Asia.
  • Successfully demonstrate projects for electronics refurbishment and disposal.
  • Develop science-based pilot and demonstration projects for e-waste refurbishment and disposal.
  • Encourage international cooperation to ensure high recycling efficiency and appropriate treatment of critical components in e-scrap processed in developing countries.
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