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The rapid technological advancement and the increase in user interference capacity of electronic products, has been encouraging consumers to purchase the latest electronic gadgets. This has upraised a huge number of discarded electronic products, or electronic waste (e-waste) globally in the recent years. About two million tons of electronic waste is disposed every year in the U.S. Also, it is estimated that only 10% of the total e-waste in the country is being recycled, which is posing serious threat to the environment.
Electronic waste has been emerging as one of the major threats for the ecosystem, as e-waste contaminates air, soil, and water. E-waste contains highly toxic materials, including mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and other toxic substances.
Based on the type of material processed in electronics recycling, the global electronic recycling market can be broadly classified as steel, copper, plastic resin, and others (including glass, silver, zinc, aluminum). Based on the various recycling methods, the electronic recycling market can be segmented as glass recycler, metal recycler, plastic recycler, and printed circuit board recycler. The different level of value chain addition in the electronic waste treatment market includes e-waste sources, collection process, waste recycling, and sale of recovered material.
Based on the type of electronic equipment processed, the global electronic recycling market can be broadly bifurcated, as computers, industrial, telecom, consumer electronics, and others.
Rising affordability to consumer electronics products, shorten product life cycle of electronics products, the growing concern of people towards hazardous effect of electronic waste, favorable government, and industry certification in e-waste management are the major drivers for the electronic recycling market. The shortage of skilled workforce in e-waste management, and lack of efficient e-waste recycling technology in the developing countries are hindering the growth of the global electronic recycling market. In developed countries, the third party certification in e-waste management has been emerging as new market opportunity in the electronic recycling market. Major companies from IT and electronic goods manufacturing like Dell, HP, and Cisco, has joined StEP (Solving the E-waste Problem), the initiative of a global organization working for the improvement of electronic waste disposal technique. This is expected to boost the e-waste management in coming years.
Among regions, Europe was the largest electronic recycling market in 2014, followed by North America. The market dominance of Europe can be attributed to the stringent government regulations towards e-waste, coupled with well diversified e-waste management system in the region. The growth in North American electronic recycling market is slightly higher, as compared to Europe; however, Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing electronic recycling market. The surging industrialization and rise in consumer purchasing power, has led to accretion of electronic waste in Asia-Pacific. Currently, most of the countries in Asia-Pacific do not have comprehensive regulations, towards control and recycling disposal of electronic waste. In countries such as India and China, considerable efforts are being made to regulate the e-waste management system. The abundance of e-waste in Asia-Pacific has been an untapped opportunity for the major players of the electronic recycling market; however, the lack of awareness among consumers is the major roadblock for the market development in the region.
The major competitors in the global electronic recycling market include Aurubis AG, SIMS Metal Management, Ltd., Boliden AB, Stena Metall AB, Global Electric Electronic Processing Inc., Electronic Recyclers International, Inc., Umicore S.A., MBA Polymers, Inc., Enviro-Hub Holdings Ltd., Eco-Tech Environmental Services, Inc., Tetronics International Ltd., American Retroworks, Inc., Dlubak Glass Company, MBA Polymers, Inc., Universal Recyclers Technologies, A2Z Group, and CRT Recycling, Inc.