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ITU Activities on E-Waste

The widespread use of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) has raised public awareness of its positive effects, such as the reduction of the digital divide. But this widespread use has also raised awareness of the negative environmental and health effects associated with the inefficient waste management of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or e-waste). These devices need to be managed beyond their useful life, both to protect the environment and to maintain the supply of materials. By creating standards, raising awareness and collaborating with industry, ITU is committed to tackling the challenge of e-waste. 

Framing the Issue of E-Waste


Electronic devices are increasingly embedded in the economic and personal fabric of society. As a result, protecting human health and the environment from the harmful effects associated with the unsafe handling and disposal of these products becomes increasingly challenging. By better managing e-waste, countries can: provide opportunities for creating green jobs; curb health problems; cut greenhouse gas emissions; and provide economic incentives for recovering valuable metals from redundant, excessive or end-of-life electronics. 

For more resources on the issue of e-waste, click here

ITU-T E-Waste Recommendations

Charger.pngITU's Standardization Section (ITU-T) has made specific recommendations for creating a:
(1) universal charger for laptops and other portable devices (L.1000);
(2) universal power adapter (UPA) designed to serve the vast majority of ICT devices (L.10001); and
(3) standardized methodology for manufacturers to report the quantity of rare metals contained in their ICT devices (L.1100).

If adopted by industry, these recommendations could equate to a reduction of over 300,000 tonnes of e-waste annually!

Past ITU Events on E-Waste

ITU continues its key contribution to tackle the challenges of e-waste. This includes the organization of several events throughout the year. Some events held in the past are:

Green ICT Application Challenge 2013

Ewaste - Picture, Green ICT App Challenge.jpgWinner of the 3rd ITU Green ICT Application Challenge is "Greenyplay"! This app, designed by Andrey Sryvkov from Belarus, helps to solve the problem of waste disposal in cities and encourages citizens to recycle.

The 4th Green Standards Week, which features a forum on "E-waste: the inconvenient truth", will take place in Beijing, China from 22-26 September 2014. Click here for more actions.