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- Waste Management (WM) Q3 Earnings Call Transcript | The Motley Fool
Electronics industry is the world's largest and fastest growing industry. In the industrialized world, the combination of rapid product obsolescence and discarded electronics is now the fastest growing waste stream.
Electronic waste or e-waste is the waste generated from type of electric and electronic equipment that lose their value to users or no longer satisfy their original purpose. This term is applied to consumer, industrial, or regularly used household electrical equipment.
By inclination towards adoption of technologically advanced electronic products, constant consumer demand for the latest version of e-devices, and growing preference for a luxurious lifestyle increases the usage of electrical and electronics equipment, resulting in a rise in the amount of e-waste produced each day.
Many people are adopting more than one information and communication technology ICT devices. Apart from this, replacement cycles for electronic devices like mobile phones and computers are becoming shorter. At the same time, disposable incomes in many developing countries are increasing which has led to increase in the spending of middle-income population on electrical and electronic equipment, consequently generating more e-waste. These current trends suggest that the amount of e-waste generated will increase substantially over the next decades.
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However, most of the countries still lack proper disposal or recycling systems and policies which can efficiently help in e-waste management.
Moreover, most of the countries still use improper recycling and disposal operations like open burning of plastic waste, exposure to toxic solders, river dumping of acids, and widespread general dumping which lead to increase risk to human health.
The fate of majority of the e-waste generated is still unknown.
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- Waste Management Inc (WM) Q4 Earnings Call Transcript | The Motley Fool
In addition, the high cost of recycling e-devices results into generation of high amount of trashed e-waste. In most of the countries, e-waste is treated as the general waste which depicts lack of legislation in place, and lack of awareness about health and environmental hazards caused by e-waste.
Thus, to overcome all these challenges, it is mandatory to keep high focus on e-waste management across the world. The large share of this segment is attributed to high amount of e-waste earnings on waste recycling on the Internet of small equipment as compared to other equipment; short lifespan of such devices; and continuously updating model, designs, and features in small equipment leading to their short life cycle and higher replacement rates.
Growing disposable income of the middle-income populations across the world and their desire to opt for luxurious and smart lifestyles are driving greater adoption of small equipment, such as vacuum cleaners, microwaves, ventilation equipment, toasters, electric kettles, electric shavers, scales, calculators, radio sets, video cameras, electrical and electronic toys, small electrical and electronic tools, small medical devices, and small monitoring and control instruments among the populations.
This in turn is contributing to the greater volume of e-waste generated every year, thereby driving the need for better e-waste management. The large share of this segment is attributed to the growing awareness about health and environmental hazards of e-waste among the population, implementation of regulations about e-waste management at country level, and growing reuse of extracted materials through recycling process in various industries.
Also, technological advancements for recovery of precious metals from electronic scrap makes recycling an attractive and feasible option. Reuse, on the other hand, is an economical and sustainable method to reduce e-waste generation globally.
Earnings, jobs and innovation: the role of recycling in a green economy
The household appliances segment accounted for the largest share of the overall e-waste management market in Increased adoption of advanced household appliances owing to growing demand for comfort and luxury goods, increasingly busy lifestyle of the population and hence the reduced time for household chores, and higher disposable incomes are supporting the largest share and growth of this market.
Earnings on waste recycling on the Internet PCBs segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period due to its vast use in production of electronic devices and need for better options for related waste management.
The metals segment accounted for the largest share of the overall market in earnings on waste recycling on the Internet, as metals or their components like metal tracks, metal solders, and conductive metals are widely used in production of almost all electric and electronic equipment.
Geographically, the global e-waste management market is categorized into six major geographies, namely, North America, Europe, Asia-pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. InEurope accounted for largest share of the global e-waste management market, followed by North America, and Asia Pacific.
The dominating position of European region in the e-waste management market is mainly due to increased consumption of electronic devices in the region and their increasingly shorter lifespans. Moreover, the e-waste collection rate in Europe is relatively higher as compared to other countries, which support the large share of Europe in the global e-waste management market. However, Asia-Pacific region is estimated to register the fastest growth during the forecast period, primarily due to increasing use of electronic products, higher volume of e-waste imported to the Asia-Pacific countries, and upgradation of government policies for reducing e-waste.
Some of the key players operating in the global e-waste management market are Electronic Recyclers International, Inc.