Mexico Takes E-waste Re-cycling to New Level

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Mexico City is taking electronic waste recycling to a new level of efficiency. Whereas the United States recycles only 20 percent of obsolete computer components, one Mexican company says it is retrieving 98 percent of the material from old computers and cellphones for re-use.

Mexico has realized it can do far more to recycle electronic waste ranging from mobile phones to freezers since most ends up on dumps despite years of collection efforts.

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The objective of the campaign was to create awareness among the population of contamination generated by electronic waste as well as the importance of generating environmentally-friendly ways to dispose of it.

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Businessman, Israel Cruz, says consumers are not aware that they are meant to recycle equipment and have not been informed of the toxicity of the waste or its environmental impact.

According to IPN, 50 percent of electronic waste remains under storage and nearly 30 percent is not properly disposed of in Mexico.

REMSA invested 30 million pesos to build an electronic cluster recycling plant in Queretaro, near Mexico City.

The plant collects, separates and recycles electronic waste from cell phones, computers, copy and fax machines, typewriters and printers.

Workers at the company extract 98 percent of the components for reuse, transferring just two percent to the landfill.

[Alvaro Nunez, Director of Recycling Company REMSA]:
"In Europe and the United States everything is crushed because it is expensive to pay workers, but crushing the material does not guarantee the final product is usable because a lot of materials are mixed."

Financing of collection, treatment and recovery of waste was absorbed by the reselling of extracted materials.

This allowed consumers to return waste free of charge.

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