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An assessment of e-waste generation and environmental management of selected countries in Africa, Europe and North America: A systematic review

Waste generated from electrical and electronic equipment collectively known as WEEE or e-waste has remained a persistent environmental problem. Globally, approximately 53.6 million tons of e-waste was generated in 2019. Of this amount generated, less than 13 percent was recycled and the rest ended up in landfills or incinerators creating enormous environmental and health concerns due to the presence of hazardous materials. While there are several previous-studies on e-waste, research findings of the United Nations global e-waste report 2020 shows that many countries are not sufficiently managing e-waste generated and greater effort is urgently required to ensure smarter and more sustainable e-waste management. On this premise, this study critically reviews previous research on e-waste generation and management practices of selected-countries - Canada, France, United States, United Kingdom, Nigeria and South Africa; provides an overview of progress made and identifies areas for improvement. These countries are selected because they are some of the largest-producers of e-waste worldwide. To achieve the objectives of this study, previous-studies from 2005-2020 are collected from databases. The study focuses on aspects such as WEEE generation, WEEE recycling, WEEE disposal methods and behaviour, environmental management of WEEE, WEEE problems/challenges and WEEE legislation of these countries. This study further categorised previous-studies of selected-countries in relation to type and scope of research, WEEE categories evaluated and study locations. Based on the findings/outcomes of the analysis on the current-situation of the selected-countries in the literature, this study proposes generic best-practice approaches to e-waste generation and environmental management taking into account country-specific issues and identifies future research areas.

History

Volume

792

Start Page

1

End Page

15

Number of Pages

15

eISSN

1879-1026

ISSN

0048-9697

Location

Netherlands

Publisher

Elsevier

Language

eng

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

22/05/2021

Author Research Institute

Centre for Intelligent Systems

Era Eligible

Yes

Medium

Print-Electronic

Journal

Science of the Total Environment

Article Number

1480782