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Harmonization of E-waste Statistics: UN organizations introduce guidelines for classification, reporting and Indicators

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Currently, countries lack a uniform measurement system for waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste or WEEE). However, substantial data exists for both developed and less-developed countries that relate to e-waste statistics. In order to improve comparability between countries, a sound measurement framework is proposed that integrates and validates available harmonised statistical data and other non-statistical data sources into e-waste statistics. This measurement framework is presented along with a classification of e-waste in “E-waste Statistics: Guidelines for classification, reporting and indicators” lead-authored by the UN’s think tank, StEP member United Nations University (UNU), under the Partnership Measuring ICT for Development and therefore also endorsed by ESCAP, ESCWA, ITU, OECD, UNCTAD, UNECA, EUROSTAT and UNEP/SBC.

The universal framework captures the most important elements of e-waste. The guidelines on the classifications, measurement scheme and indicators facilitate the implementation of harmonised concepts to measure the size of a country’s e-waste market, its transboundary e-waste movement and the e-waste recycling performance within that country.

“The data collected will support policymakers in drafting fact-based policies to create the infrastructure to manage e-waste within their countries. This will contribute to the creation of green jobs and the eradication of poverty, which are central themes from the Rio+20 sustainable development conference and the United Nations’ post-2015 development agenda,” says David Malone, Rector of the UNU and United Nations Under-Secretary-General.

The guidelines are available here.


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