E-waste is the material that results from discarded household and consumer electronics. It consists of everything from old televisions to computers and all sorts of electronics ranging from hard drives to cameras and cell phones, headphones, electric lamps and toothbrushes, hearing aids, alarm clocks, and many other common appliances and accessories both large and small.
Many components of e-waste or e-scrap are valuable materials that can be safely recycled, given appropriate health and safety and environmental measures. A number of international organisations including the European Union and international watchdog agencies such as the Basel Action Network monitor the proper management of e-waste, and handling the material in many cases falls to underprivileged groups within Western countries such as the Roma in Europe, or shipped internationally to be processed in loosely monitored markets in Asia or Africa. How to best regulate the disposal, recycling, and proper management of e-waste remains a large and growing topic within solid waste management and resource conservation more broadly.
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