The re-use of electronics is more beneficial than any of the other methods for two reasons. It keeps new electronics from entering the E-waste stream. At the same time, the re-use of electronics can make electronics affordable for the community, an organization, or an individual who otherwise would not be able to afford them. For example if an individual had extra computer sitting in his or her home, then she or he could simply donate the item to various nonprofits such as schools or charitable organizations.
In most of the world’s E-waste is exported to less developed countries with horrid working conditions and low wages . The US exports 50-80% of its E-waste to less developed countries, mostly Asia. Out of18 seaports in Europe, 47% was E-waste ready to be exported. Also in 2003, 23000 metric tons of E-waste was shipped out of Europe and to the Far East, India, Africa and China.
This is done because recyclers only strip the valuable pieces from the electronics and then ship the rest out to avoid any hazards with them. In Guiya of Guangdong Province even though China created laws to ban the importation of E-waste in 2000, Guiya is still on of the world’s biggest E-waste target. Also, in Delhi, India alone there has been found that 25,000 workers are hired to work in E-waste scrap yards, where ten to twenty thousand metric tons of E-waste is worked with each year, 25% of it being computers. Also, more E-waste scrap yards have been found in Meerut, Ferozabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai.
Greencitzen. Shared Responsibility/shared rewards. 23 March 2007. http://www.greencitizen.com/docs/beinformed/GreenCitizenWhitePaper.pdf.
TakeBack Campaign. The Problem with Exporting Electronic Waste. 29 March 2007. http://www.computertakeback.com/the_problem/export_hazard_waste.cfm.
EMPA. eWaste Guide -> Facts & Figures -> Statistical -> Quantities. 29 March 2007 http://www.ewaste.ch/facts_and_figures/economics/quantities/ .
EPA. “Electronics: A New Opportunity for Waste Prevention, Reuse, and Recycling”. June 2001. 28 March 2007. http://www.epa.gov/osw/elec_fs.pdf .
Pucket, Jim and Ted Smith, ed. "Exporting Harm: The High-Tech Trashing of Asian". BAN. 25 February 2002. 1 April 2007. http://www.ban.org
Greenpeace. Where does e-waste end up?. 26 March 2007. http://www.greenpeace.org/international