Electrical and electronic equipment has necessarily become a major part of human existence and development: Sustainable Environmental Management Dissertation, MUL, UK

University Middlesex University London (MUL)
Subject Sustainable Environmental Management

Electrical and electronic equipment has necessarily become a major part of human existence and development with the availability and utilization providing elastic benefits to the local, regional and global population. Nevertheless, production, consumption, and disposal have attracted several environmental and economic challenges that have affected humanity both in the short and long run. Also, this has led to various externalities which include the emission of greenhouse gases, the release of substances that are toxic to humans and the environment, among others.

To this end, several countries, which also include the developing countries are faced with the challenges of environmental and human health issues due to the widespread inadequacy in the management of electrical and electronic equipment waste which is mostly known as e-waste. Gaidajis, Angelakoglou & Aktsoglou noted that the e-waste management issue has attracted the local, regional, and global interest of politicians, non-governmental organizations, such as Greenpeace, Basel Action Network, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, the scientific community, among others.

In developing countries such as Nigeria, various e-waste management challenges include the lack of reliable infrastructure for proper waste management, the lack of legislation relating to e-waste, lack of framework for end-of-life product take-back, implementation of extended producer responsibility, among others.

Forti et al. argued that even in most developed countries with formal e-waste management systems, there are challenges of relatively low collection and recycling rates. A major point of emphasis that has challenged the need for effective and efficient e-waste management even at the global level is the short life cycles and the rapidly developing technology which has led to the geometric increase in e-waste volumes.

The types of e-waste include personal computers, laptops, mobile phones, electronic games, VCD/DVD players, photocopiers, radio gadgets, televisions, air conditioners, dishwashers, electric cookers, food mixers, iron, hairdryer, among others. Also, of importance in the life cycle of e-waste which is based on the 5Rs which are Reduce, Repair, Recover, Recycle and Re-use of electrical/electronic equipment. The life cycle of e-waste in Nigeria is a major challenge because of the high rate of preference for used electronics in the country.

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