A recent survey by Pike Research, titled Electronics Recycling and E-Waste, Issues finds that more than three-fourths of respondents feel that recycling is the most appropriate way to handle obsolete electronics. The survey comes as the amount of electronic scrap is expected to reach 73 million metric tons by next year.
“The consumer is an integral link in the chain for electronics recycling and e-waste management,” says Clint Wheelock, Pike Research’s managing director. “In order for the industry to achieve its goals, consumer values, attitudes, and behavior will need to support responsible handling of end-of-life electronics equipment. Popular sentiment is also essential to support the political will of governments as they strive to mitigate e-waste issues through legislation and regulation.”
Key findings of Pike Research’s survey include the following:
•37 percent of consumers felt that electronics recycling should be free, and an additional 35 percent stated that electronics should be collected and processed as part of a curbside recycling program.
•Only 14 percent felt that the cost of electronics recycling should be borne by consumers at the points of purchase or recycling. 10 percent supported the concept of “producer responsibility” where the manufacturer pays, an approach increasingly being adopted by many OEMs.
•The average consumer has 2.8 pieces of unused, broken, or obsolete electronics equipment in their home or storage area.
•The average consumer surveyed estimated that the cost of collecting, hauling, demanufacturing, and recycling a single piece of used electronics equipment is $12, however Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the true cost is more than $20.
The report includes SWOT analysis for key sectors, analysis of consumer survey results, and forecasts for e-waste generation and processing volumes through 2025. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website at www.pikeresearch.com.