With International E-Waste Day, October 14, fast approaching, we have spoken to MSc student Kean Ming Yong about the environmental impact of the formal versus the informal recycling sector. Kean recently conducted a comparative life cycle assessment study of informal and formal recycling procedures of mobile phones at Vrije University in Amsterdam.

When you have read this post, try our E-Waste quiz and test your knowledge on this topic.

Can you introduce yourself and why you have chosen to look into e-waste?

Of course! I’m Kean and have recently graduated from my Masters programme in Environmental Resource Management. In my research, I investigated the impact of e-waste on human health and the environment because I wanted to understand more about what happened to electronic products after we have used and discarded them.

Why are you interested in e-waste?

E-waste is currently the fastest growing waste stream in the world. I was shocked to discover that almost 50 million tonnes of e-waste is discarded every year. Only a small percentage of this is recycled, which means that the majority of waste is not recycled for their valuable resources. This has huge implications not only on the natural resources, but also on the environment. With big cha