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Global disposal strategies for waste cathode ray tubes

TitleGlobal disposal strategies for waste cathode ray tubes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsNnorom IC, Osibanjo O, Ogwuegbu MOC
Journal TitleResources, Conservation and Recycling
KeywordsCathode ray tube, Computer monitor, Environmental pollution, recycling, Waste {CRT} shipment
AbstractThe collection and management of waste electrical and electronic appliances around the world, and the possible negative environmental consequences have been an issue of current debate. Cathode ray tubes {(CRTs)} used as display screen for computer monitors and televisions contains large quantities of lead, estimated at between 0.5 and 4�kg, depending on the size of the {CRT} and has been identified as the most polluting of all electronic waste components. Having failed the tests used in the toxicity characterization of solid wastes, {CRTs} have been declared [`]hazardous' and subsequently banned from landfills and incinerators in most developed countries. Presently, large quantities of {CRTs} are generated globally with only few developed countries having effective take back and sound management program. Meanwhile, large quantities of {CRT-containing} devices are being moved across frontiers into developing countries in the name of [`]reuse' and [`]bridging the digital divide'. With near absence of recycling infrastructure for electronic wastes in most developing countries, waste {CRTs} are disposed of with {MSW} at open dumps and unsanitary landfills. This paper reviews the current practices in the management of {CRTs} around the world, with emphasis on the role of regulations, availability of recycling infrastructure, recycling/reuse routes, and export into developing countries. Inappropriate disposal of waste {CRTs} creates the opportunity for large-scale environmental contamination with heavy metals, especially lead. Appropriate disposal routes are required globally in the management of {CRTs} in order to mitigate environmental contamination and human exposure to toxins.
DOIdoi: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2010.10.007
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