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REWAS'08: 12-15 October 2008, Cancun/Mexico

E-waste management was a major topic in the "Global Symposium on Recycling, Waste Treatment and Clean Technology REWAS 2008" held in Cancun/Mexico from 12th to 15th of October 2008.





Two scientific sessions were dedicated to the e-waste topic including presentations enlightening quantitative and qualitative aspects, challenges and potentials. The sound management of e-waste, particularly the reuse of electronic equipment and the recycling of ewaste, is of increasing significance in almost all countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).


Conference sessions: Situation and Challenges of e-waste Management in LAC

In a keynote speech "E-waste Recycling in Latin America: Overview, challenges and Potential" Heinz Böni gave a qualitative and quantitative glimpse at e-waste, highlighted specific aspects of the region Latin America and outlined the existing framework and infrastructure and adressed the major challenges and the future potential. Bernhard Steubing presented the massflow assessment for e-waste in Chile and Mathias Schluep summarized first experiences from a Material Recovery Facility in South-Africa.

Workshop "Challenges and Strategies for e-waste Management in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

The e-waste workshop jointly organized by Empa, the regional platform on e-waste from computers in Latin America and the Caribbean RELAC and the global StEP-Initiative aimed at identifying major challenges and strategies associated with the management of e-waste in Latin America under the policy principle of Extended Producer Responsibility. The workshop was facilitating discussion among OEM, recycling companies, PRO, government authorities and academia enabling analysis of existing experiences and identification of suitable approaches to deal with challenges, including exploring the potential of regional solutions and the role of public-private partnerships.


The group discussion was preceded by the following input presentations:  

Following these input presentations discussions were held in two groups, one focusing on the government and civil society perspective and another looking at the issue from the industry perspective.

  • Government representatives identified the need for sensibilization and awareness creation, the concertation between public actors, the harmonization of legislation and technical norms and capacity building as mayor needs and potentials for a regional cooperation.
  • The industry group formulated the need to have harmonized and auditable recycling and refurbishment standards. It furthermore pointed out the requirement of intensifying global and regional knowledge exchange.


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