Sustainable guideline for developing E-Waste Sector in Egypt

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering Department

Second Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering Department

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Ahmed Tarek, Salah El-Haggar

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Environmental Protection

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The amount of electronic waste generated globally is alarming especially that it is on the rise. The impact of the generated amounts is not only Environmental. The electronic waste sector is unregulated in most developing countries; this results in the informal sector being heavily involved in managing and handling it. Due to the lack of regulations, informal handlers are exposed to hazardous materials that affect both their health and health of the communities living in their proximity. Moreover, the informal sector involves illegal child and women labor under harsh conditions. In addition to the social impact, the lack of regulations leads to missing major economic opportunities associated with developing a recycling industry for the safe handling and material recovery from the generated e-waste volumes. Electronic waste may contain up to 60 different materials including precious and rare-earth metals with estimated equivalent economic value of 48 billion Euros. Egypt is one the countries which lack policies and regulations dedicated to e-waste, hence the Egyptian economy is missing the economic potential and job creation opportunities associated with developing the e-waste sector as well as facing major Environmental and health challenges due to the improper handling of the generated amounts. This paper briefly reviews the current situation of e-waste in Egypt. The paper then proposes an adapted guideline for the sustainable management of e-waste in Egypt. The guideline is based on the international regulations and guidelines especially those of countries similar to the Egyptian socioeconomic context. The produced guideline focuses on establishing a collection and recycling framework for e-waste in Egypt with EPR at its center. The guideline also establishes a financing system to help foster the recycling industry in Egypt while fulfilling the three main pillars of sustainability.

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