Hazardous substances and materials

Electronic waste of e-waste is the most rapidly growing waste problem in the world. It is a crisis not only of quantity but also a crisis born from toxic ingredients - such as lead, beryllium, mercury, cadmium, and borrminated flame retardants that pose both an occupational and environmental health threat. But to date, industry, government and consumers have only taken small steps to deal with this looming problem.

Due to the risks involved, disposal and recycling of electronic waste has serious legal and environmental implications. When computed waste is deposited into a landfill or it is incinerated, it poses significant contamination problems. Landfills leach toxins into groundwater and incinerators emit toxic air pollutants including dioxins. 

Similarly, the recycling of computers has serious occupational and environmental implications, particularly when the recycling industry is often marginally profitable at best, and often cannot afford to take all appropriate and necessary precautions to protect the environment and health of workers. 

In this section you will find information related to the management of hazardous substances and materials which are contained in electrical and electronic waste.

Hazardous materials recycling

What is contained in hazardous waste?

Benefits from recycling hazardous waste

Treatment methods of hazardous waste

How much e-waste is there?

How computers are recycled. Why is it important?

Where does all this e-waste go?

European Community Regulation for WEEE