E-Waste Market to Boom in Next Five Years

E-Waste Market to Boom in Next Five Years

A new report from ABI Research predicts that the market for recovering and recycling used electronics will reach $14.7 billion by 2015, nearly tripling in size.

The report, "e-Waste Recovery and Recycling," says that the growth will occur largely through the ability of electronics recyclers to recover valuable materials from discarded computers and other electronics.

ABI Research expects the supply of end-of-life electronics is to continue to grow, driven by rising rates of e-waste collection and recycling, improvements in recycling technologies, the growth of infrastructure to collect electronics for recycling, and maturing recycling markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

Although the Great Recession deeply impacted the global market for electronics recycling, there is hope on the horizon. "The combined impact of the ongoing global economic recovery and strengthening e-waste recycling legislation worldwide will drive improved recycling/recovery rates in each of the next five years," ABI Research practice director Larry Fisher said in a statement.

Europe's WEEE directive was highlighted as the strongest legislative framework, and efforts by the Basel Action Network and its new e-Stewards responsible recycling initiative also play a big part in the market's growth.

Unwanted computers, monitors, cell phones and other electronics can pose a serious problem for companies -- not only in terms of maintaining the security of the data contained in computers, but in terms of potential black eyes from improper disposal of discarded goods.

In recent months, exposés have showcased how some e-waste collections may not be as green as they promise, and others showed how toxic improper dismantling can be.

The full report, "e-Waste Recovery and Recycling, is available for download from ABI Research.