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Old Cell Phones Piling Up in China

The lack of facilities to adequately recycle old cell phones and other forms of electronic waste in China is resulting in the beginning of an e-waste crisis in the nation, according to new reports.  Millions of tons of electronic waste are being generated each and every year yet insufficiently dealt with even as sales of electronic items continue to surge in the country, according to a report from the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).
While China has made some improvements to treatment facilities in recent times, the country is still running very short on facilities for the recycling and environmentally safe disposal of old cell phones and other electronic items.  A report by China Environment News suggests that much of the waste is simply left without any treatment, while others are just burned, both of which are hazards to the environment and potentially very damaging to human health as well.
“China still hasn’t established a proper e-waste management and recycling system;” says a researcher from the Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Peng Ping’an.  “Large quantities of e-waste are buried directly or dismantled by small, unlicensed plants with bare hands.”
Around 3.5 million tons of e-waste is expected to be created during this year alone, according to China Construction News and while the government has at least started to become aware of the seriousness of the issue, Ping’an says that any appropriate legislation to deal with it is still a long way away.