Only one percent of electronic waste is recycled in Peru

Isabel Guerra

Only 1 percent of electronic waste is recycled in PeruSome 72,000 tons of electronic waste are accumulating inside Peru homes and companies, estimates Ana María González del Valle Begazo, Deputy Minister of Environental Management for the Environenment Ministry.

Exponential growth in sales of these equipments have not only generated this amount of waste, but also some 15,000 additional tons are expected this year.

"From this total, 65,000 tons are computers (CPU, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards and other peripherals) and 7,000 tons are cell phones," she said.

However, this amount may significantly increase if other appliances like CD or DVD players, camcorders, VCRs and/or obsolete video games were added.

"All those obsolete electronics are damaging the environment because they have toxic chemical components," said the deputy minister.

Gonzalez del Valle estimates that 75% of these components are recyclable, and only 25% would be irrecuperable.

“Plastic and metal are recyclable, and even some precious metals from the circuits,” she said, remarking that there is a great opportunity for businesses in this field.

She said that only 1% of the total electronic waste, or 5% of each year’s total, is recycled in Peru.

At present, Peru has 25.9 million of active cell phones and some 4 million computers.

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