German Centre sustainability initiative

E-Waste recycling in Beijing

German Centre Beijing offers its local customers and partners the possibility of sustainable disposal of e-waste.

Sustainable disposal of electronic devices

Where to put disused mobile phones, laptops, printers and cables? Every company has to deal with this question sooner or later. Old and broken electronic devices often end up in storerooms and cupboards, blocking valuable storage space. Everyone knows that these devices do not belong in the normal rubbish, but there is often a lack of a convenient and easily accessible drop-off location.

For the companies in the German Centre Beijing and the community, there is a convenient solution: thanks to a collaboration with a Chinese specialist for e-waste disposal, companies can drop off their old equipment directly at the German Centre office. The local team then takes care of ensuring that the items are properly recycled.

The e-waste recycling initiative is a collaboration with Huaxin Environmental Co. Ltd, a high-tech environmental protection company specialising in e-waste recycling and hazardous waste disposal.

The world’s fastest growing waste

According to the Global E-waste Monitor, 53.6 million tons of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019. The figure increased by 21 percent in just five years, making E-waste the fastest growing domestic waste stream in the world. Less than 20% of global E-waste is known to be properly treated and recycled. Instead, each year recoverable materials conservatively valued at US $57 billion are mostly dumped or burned rather than being collected for treatment and reuse.

E-waste recycling is the process of recovering valuable materials, for example, plastics, glass, copper, and iron, from obsolete devices to use in new products. This reduces the need for new raw materials in production. Most electronics contain harmful materials such as cadmium, beryllium, mercury, and lead. Improper handling of E-waste can lead to release of toxic chemicals and metals that harm human health and the environment. In the responsible E-waste recycling process, these unhealthy substances are safely removed.

Facts and Figures

Old mobile phones bear precious resources

Embedded in one million mobile phones are around 24 kg of gold, 16,000 kg of copper, 350 kg of silver, and 14 kg of palladium — resources that could be recovered and returned to the production cycle. If these materials are not recycled, however, new supplies need to be mined, harming the environment. Moreover, the recovery of gold and other material from waste saves a lot of carbon dioxide emissions when compared with virgin metal mining.

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