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Can Small Countries Benefit from the E-waste Global Value Chain?

Meine Pieter van Dijk

E-waste is a term used to cover items of all types of electrical and electronic equipment and its parts that have been discarded by the owners as waste without the intention of re-use, because this equipment has ceased to be of any value to its owners. E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams globally. Since the Rio Summit Earth summit organized by the United Nations in 1992, the concept of sustainability extends to rendering basic services such as Solid Waste Management and dealing with e-waste. People are afraid of e-waste because of its possible negative effects on health and because it could pollute the environment. Indicators of unsustainable service provision concerning e-waste include irregular collection, open dumping, burning of solid and e-waste in open spaces. Often collection covers a small part of the country, cost recovery is limited or not existent, and one notes poor utilization of available resources with no or very limited reuse and recycling.