International Associations

International Associations Promoting Responsible Electronics Recycling

Environmentally Sound International Electronics Recycling Programs

There are a number of international initiatives geared towards addressing the human health and environmental issues posed by the unsafe management of used and end-of-life electronics and electrical equipment.

Basel Convention Technical Expert Working Group on the Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous and Other Wastes

In 2009, the governments of Indonesia and Switzerland organized a “Country-Led Initiative” (CLI) to discuss issues related to the trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes, especially to “vulnerable” developing countries ill-equipped to manage such shipments in an environmentally sound manner, despite the existence and objectives of the Basel Convention.  As a result of this three year process, the Basel Convention Council of the Parties mandated, among other things, that the Basel Parties establish a technical expert group to develop a multi-disciplinary framework, consisting of regulations for the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes and other wastes, including consideration of ways in which the framework and its elements might be linked to the trans-boundary movement of hazardous and other wastes.  SLS participates as an observer in this Basel Technical Expert Group.

Since this group began meeting in 2013, it has produced a tool kit, including a number of practical manuals and fact sheets to assist developing countries with addressing legal and technical issues with managing hazardous waste, including a fact sheet on e-waste. Additionally, the group has implemented a number of pilot projects.

Basel Convention Expert Working Group on E-Waste Technical Guidelines

For a number of years, the Basel Parties and Observers have been drafting technical guidelines addressing E-Waste. The discussions have been characterized by much disagreement relative to transboundary movement and the document was adopted on an interim-basis in May 2015.  During the thirteenth Conference of the Parties in Geneva in May 2017, China took the lead on initiating focused work on outstanding issues. SLS participated, with other experts, in a meeting hosted by the Chinese Regional Centre in Beijing in November 2017 and will also participate in a following meeting in April. It is hoped that the group can resolve issues so that this document will be adopted in full by the Basel Parties.

Expert Working Group on the Basel Convention Waste Identification and Operation Annexes

As the Convention has evolved since it went into force in 1992, newer non-traditional waste streams have evolved, such as e-waste, that have raised issues in terms of implementing the Convention.  Furthermore, terms are used in some parts of the Convention that lack clarity. Therefore, an Expert Working Group was convened to cull through the Basel Annexes related to waste identification and waste operations to clarify the Basel waste categories, hazardous and non-hazardous waste listings, and what constitutes disposal and recycling operations. SLS participates in this work, which has been conducted primarily by teleconferences. The first face-to-face meeting of this group was hosted by the Basel Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2018.

SLS is actively involved in these international initiatives and networks, promoting responsible electronics recycling worldwide.

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