Mexico tops in e-waste generation in Latin America

Mexico generates roughly 1,032 million metric tons of electronic waste annually, the second-highest total in Latin America

Mexico tops in e-waste generation in Latin America
Mexico generates roughly 1,032 million metric tons of electronic waste annually – Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 17/01/2018 17:14 EFE Mexico City Actualizada 16:28
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Mexico generates roughly 1,032 million metric tons of electronic waste annually, ranking among the largest e-waste generators in Latin America, Mexican e-waste recycling company REMSA said.

Ilse Moreno, of REMSA's commercial support office, disclosed that eight out of every nine electrical or electronic devices in Mexico become garbage that arrives at landfill sites, ravines or clandestine dumps while merely one is recycled.

According to The Global E-Waste Monitor 2017, a collaborative effort of the United Nations University (UNU), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Mexico and Brazil top e-waste generation in Latin America.

The Global E-Waste Monitor 2017 reports that in 2016 an average of 11.6 kilograms of e-waste was generated per inhabitant across the Americas (including the United States, the top producer region-wide), while the collection rate stood at 17% .

Ilse Moreno explained that "each kilogram of recycled electronic equipment is equivalent to one kilogram of unused fuel, a kilogram of garbage that isn't burned, buried, thrown into the sea or illegally exported to other countries," adding that REMSA, a company based in Santiago de Querétaro, central Mexico, is leader in professional e-waste recycling, collection, and, reuse.

"The goal is to prevent that waste from polluting the environment and affecting the health of communities," Moreno assured.

E-waste contains harmful contaminants to human health such as Mercury, Beryllium, and Lead, some of which are associated with cancer.

The burning of e-waste produces highly toxic substances such as dioxins and furans that react when directly exposed to weather harsh conditions. Water, sun, air and even temperature changes make them a latent risk.

"If electronic waste is recycled properly, it doesn't pose a risk to health," assured Moreno while adding that one of REMSA's main objectives is to create a culture of recycling that will contribute significantly in the fight against climate change.

REMSA receives reusable materials from laptops and tablets, printers, speakers, cell phones, chargers, video game consoles, music players, telephony equipment, and DVDs, among others.

"We reincorporate four raw materials (plastic, metal, glass, and electronic components) to productive chains to avoid natural resources exploitation," she detailed.

REMSA's e-waste collection is done through the JERapp (Collect, Deliver, and Recycling), but it collects clothing and clothing accessories, books, toys, sports equipment, musical instruments, furniture, tools, safety equipment, and medicines, among other things.

"More information and interest is needed to make the public aware of habits of consumption and generation of electronic waste, which eventually will lead to a positive change in Mexico," she concluded.


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