Managing E-waste Responsibly: Critical Steps Towards a Circular Economy

Working with e-waste to unlock business value through responsible action.

E-waste not only poses health and environmental hazards, it’s also an untapped value that businesses of all sizes, across all sectors, could return to the circular economy.

According to the Global E-waste Monitor 2020, only 17.4 percent of e-waste is formally documented as being collected and recycled. The report estimates that globally, e-waste will reach 74 metric tons by 2030, nearly double the amount since 2014. According to UNESCAP, Asia generated the greatest volume of e-waste in 2019 — some 24.9 metric tons, followed by the Americas (13.1 mt) and Europe (12 mt), while Africa and Oceania generated 2.9 mt and 0.7 mt respectively.

The rapidly increasing rate is another concern for planning future e-waste management. The annual growth rate of e-waste was estimated to be 3-5%, which is about three times larger than other types of waste.

Good for Bottom Line, Better for Environment

The business case to protect our planet couldn’t be more evident. The global IT asset disposition market size was valued at 18.57 million USD in 2021. It is expected to increase to 51.38 million USD by 2030 at a CAGR of 12% during the forecast period of 2022–2030. The Asia Pacific market is projected to account for 25.44 USD million by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 14%.

The same Global E-waste Monitor 2020 report also addresses financial implications. The report shows that the amount of iron, copper, gold and other minerals discarded in e-waste is valued at over 57 billion USD. Recovering those materials through proper recycling benefits the planet and businesses.

Start to Adopt Circular IT Strategies to Extend Product Life Cycles

Accelerating the circular economy is at the core of Dell Technologies Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals. By moving away from the linear economy and embracing a circular one, we can design to reduce and reuse waste, and extend the useful life of products and materials to reduce environmental impact. At Dell, we believe technology will play a key role in this shift, and we see the circular economy as a critical business model for our collective future. As a global technology leader, we have a strong opportunity to minimize waste and as a result, emissions by driving circularity through everything we do.

When a product reaches its end of life, the materials can be reused and recycled, creating sustainable value within the circular economy. Supporting this model reduces environmental impact while giving businesses opportunities to increase competitiveness, stimulate innovation and revenue, reduce operating costs and create jobs.

We are also walking the talk. Since 1996, Dell has been offering secure recovery solutions for customers around the world. Since 2007, we have recovered more than 2.6 billion pounds (1.2 billion kilograms) of used electronics. Asset Recovery Services, for example, helps businesses securely and responsibly retire their IT equipment. Earlier this year, Dell expanded its support for Asset Recovery Services, which is now available in 36 countries.

Retire your IT Equipment Securely and Sustainably with Asset Recovery Services

When selecting a partner to help reduce your organization’s environmental impact and improve your sustainability practices, consider Dell’s Asset Recovery Services. By leveraging Dell’s long-standing security expertise and commitment to sustainability, you can responsibly resell, recycle or return to lease your legacy IT equipment and shift your focus to what’s next.

Here’s how it works:

    • Return any brand. We’ll take back all of your owned or leased hardware, no matter where it came from.
    • Leave the logistics to us. We’ll handle every detail from pick up to final reporting, so you can stay focused on your core business.
    • Keep your data safe. We’ll sanitize devices in strict alignment with the NIST SP 800-88r1 standard to ensure data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
    • Unlock value. Your aging asset may have more value than you think. Our goal is always to reuse, extending the life of the product as our first priority. We’ll resell your equipment and send the money back to you.
    • Protect the planet. If your asset has no value, we’ll dispose of it in compliance with local regulatory guidelines.
    • Peace of mind, on-demand. Customize and download status reports to keep track of your services from anywhere. Data sanitization, confirmation of disposal, and resell/recycle reports are at your fingertips.

To learn more about Asset Recovery Services, we invite you to meet our experts at an upcoming Dell Technologies Forum in your region or country, in person or virtually, or click here.

Vivian Tai

About the Author: Vivian Tai

Vivian is currently the Head of Dell Technologies Environmental Affairs & Producer Responsibility for Asia-Pacific & Japan. She leads the team across various Asian countries and responsible for assuring the market access through strategic alignment on product compliance with focus on the environmental requirements. She also closely engages with key stakeholders, regulators, NGOs and agencies to influence both global and regional policy and standards. Vivian owns professional specialties in the areas of product stewardship, environmental policy and risk management, green supply-chain management, environmental economics and project management. In the course of her career, she brings extensive experience in the planning and execution of environmental compliance strategy and end-to-end design for environment activities across entire product portfolio. Vivian holds a bachelor’s degree in Agri-Chemistry from National Taiwan University and a Master's degree in Environmental risk and management from Harvard University.