E-waste is a general term used to cover almost all types of electrical and electronic equipment that has or could enter the waste stream. It accounts for TVs, computers, mobile phones, white goods (e.g. fridges, washing machines, dryers etc), toys and almost any household or business item with circuitry or electrical components with power or battery supply. It differs from municipal waste not only for containing various hazardous materials, but also many valuable and precious resources, which could be recycled.
Rapid changes in technology and in media (tapes, software, MP3), falling prices, and premeditated obsolescence have resulted in a fast-growing surplus of electronic waste around the globe. The processes of dismantling and disposing of electronic waste is a major concern which countries, especially the sub and in development ones, have to deal with.
E-waste is also of growing concern in many of the SWEEP-Net member countries and related initiatives have been launched by authorities, private sector or NGO. Nevertheless, risks for human health and the environment from inappropriate management are not yet well known and awareness is still low.
Although information regarding e-waste generation and treatment in the MENA-Region is very scarce, in this report we have an opportunity to learn more about the market for electronic devices, generation and management of e-waste, national policies and initiatives for the countries of the area. Solutions in view of e-waste awareness campaign and assessment, pilot projects, development of legal frame and e-waste business model, organization of regional conferences, among others, are also presented here.