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The E-waste Foundation’s aim is to decrease the e-waste problem in developing countries. They are a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands, though the scope of the E-waste Foundation is global. Their donation partners, knowledge partners, and e-waste projects span the continents.

In short, they neutralize the fact that your used electronics, when given a “second life” in developing countries, will end up there as e-waste. By generously donating and letting them address this problem, you take responsibility for this important aspect of the recycling chain.

Why is e-Waste a Problem?

E-Waste in developing countries causes several serious problems, mainly due to unprofessional, dangerous, and incomplete disassembly processes. Some people attempt to earn money through e-waste by disassembling it and locally selling the metal and copper. The unprofessional disassembling process which is commonly used is a harmful and dangerous process for human health and for the health of the ecosystem.

Plastics, rubber, and print boards are set on fire in order to obtain and sell the leftover metals. These dangerous processes cause massive air pollution and make people (often children 6 years and older) breathe in harmful smoke.

Hazardous leftover materials which cannot be sold, such as batteries, capacitors, and CRT glass, are discarded in nature.

The amount of electronics that organizations and people use is growing. At the same time, the life of equipment is getting shorter. This is creating a worldwide explosion of electronic waste. We throw away an estimated 40,000,000 tons of electronic equipment worldwide each year.

The dump of electronic waste not only creates pollution, it also leads to the loss of valuable materials. In developing countries, often only metal, copper and aluminum are recycled. Other materials, including precious metals like gold, silver, and palladium, are lost. The mining of new gold, silver, and palladium is very harmful in terms of energy consumption and pollution. By recovering these metals from e-waste, less mining will be necessary.

What They Do:

Their key service is to offset the e-waste footprint of your end-of-life electronics. This is done in the following way:


Removing Hazardous Leftovers

The Ewaste Foundation finances and arranges for the safe disposal of hazardous materials which are leftovers of a professional disassembly process. 

 In the currently common practice of dismantling e-waste in developing countries, the hazardous leftover materials are discarded in the environment and become very damaging to the ecosystem and to people’s health. They collect and ship the leftovers out of the developing countries and dispose of them in state-of-the-art smelters. Because of the very high costs smelters are not available in developing countries.


In addition to removing hazardous leftovers they also accomplish the following


Setting up e-Waste Criteria and requirements

They have also established and are actively managing criteria and requirements which a disassembly process has to meet in order to be considered ecologically and socially sustainable. Overall controllability through a third party is an important requisite.


Supporting New Initiatives

They encourage and give practical support to new initiatives setting up sustainable e-waste disassembly processes worldwide. They accomplish this support through their knowledge and network partners.


Making sustainable e-Waste disassembling profitable

Decreasing e-waste in developing countries is a challenging goal, in which local initiatives should play a major role.


In challenging local people to start up new E-waste disassembling initiatives, potential profitability of the initiative is a necessity.


Disassembling of electronics correctly can in itself be a profitable process since one can sell the valuable leftover metals. However, acting responsibly with the hazardous leftovers makes the whole operation non-profitable. Therefore, profiting was not possible, until now.


Since their funding of projects is generated on a per-piece basis and they remove the hazardous materials themselves, they make sustainable e-waste disassembly processes profitable to their initiators.


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