A step-by-step guide to support policy makers in Technology in emerging economies

In order to establish a proper e-waste treatment system the following steps have to be taken (this is not a chronological order, many of these have to be taken in parallel):
1. Develop proper and easily understandable legislation with achievable targets
2. Stick to internationally agreed terms and definitions
3. Establish the right infrastructure for collection (citizen-friendly opening times, protected area, separation already in 5 collection categories: “large household equipment”, “small equipment” (small household, consumer electronics, IT and telecom, toys, …), “Screens”, “Lamps” and “Temperature exchange equipment”) (for details please see ‘collection workshop’)
4. Create awareness across all stakeholders, including the public (to ensure necessary volumes)
5. Establish a financing system for negative value products to avoid “cherry picking”
6. Ensure fast and reliable authorization and certification of procedures for collection and treatment
7. Define proper quality criteria, liabilities and guarantees
8. Allow (controlled) transborder movements (export and import) of certain types of e-waste where proper treatment infrastructure cannot be set up in every country
9. Ensure necessary infrastructure (road, rail, electricity, …) to operate professional treatment facilities
10. Include the existing informal sector in the set-up of an e-waste management system
11. Enforcement of legislation to ensure a level playing field
12. Establish a proper waste tracking system
13. Guarantee proper and stable business environment
14. Steer investments and entrepreneurship
15. Link it with other activities (e.g. UN Sustainable Development Goals)
16. Promote innovation
17. Ensure trained and motivated workforce
18. Strive for inclusiveness to whole society

Especially at the beginning please follow the principle “Start small and grow” as it has been proven already that for example manual dismantling is much more energy-efficient and environmental friendly than mechanical shredding and sorting and it creates also more jobs locally. Therefore it is not necessary to invest in complicated treatment plants before starting proper collection of e-waste.

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