Advancements in technology, materials development, and manufacturing processes have changed the consumer products and composition of municipal solid waste (MSW) since 1960s. Increasing quantities of discarded consumer products remain a major challenge for recycling efforts, especially for discarded electronic products (also referred as e-waste). The growing demand for high tech products has increased the e-waste quantities and its cross boundary transport globally. This paper reviews the challenges associated with increasing e-waste quantities. The increasing need for raw materials (especially for rare earth and minor elements) and unregulated e-waste recycling operations in developing and underdeveloped counties contribute to the growing concerns for e-waste management. Although the markets for recycled materials are increasing; there are major challenges for development of the necessary infrastructure for e-waste management and accountability as well as development of effective materials recovery technologies and product design.
Keywords: Cross boundary e-waste transport; Materials recovery; Rare earth elements; Recycling; Sustainability; e-Waste.
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