With the rapid increase of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), the management of WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) has become a global problem since the late 1980s. Some good practices of WEEE management have been seen in developed countries but development of WEEE management is moving slowly in many developing countries. China, known as the largest exporter of EEE and importer of WEEE in the world, plays a significant role in the global life cycle of electronics. The country is facing serious WEEE problems due to the quantity and toxicity of WEEE both from growth of domestic generation and the illegal dumping from developed countries.
In response to WEEE problems in China, the Chinese government has developed a variety of policies since 2000. But none of them issued before 2010 turns out to be a comprehensive WEEE-specific policy. These policies were not enough to guarantee a sound treatment of WEEE and construct an economic, environmental and ethical recycling and disposal system in China.
On 1 January 2011, the Regulations for the Administration of the Recovery and Disposal of Waste Electrical and Electronic Products (RAW in short), often referred to as the China WEEE Directive, was finally enacted. It aims to standardize the recovery and disposal of WEEE. Being the most important WEEE legislation in China, how RAW tries to overcome these weaknesses in earlier policies has not been studied systematically. Particularly, the breakthroughs, concerns and challenges of RAW together with the related reflections from stakeholders have not been analyzed.
On Thursday April 10, 2014, a ten member delegation of the WEEE Management Commitee visited e-Recycling of California’s Irvine facility to tour the facility, compare processing technologies, and learn how an e-Steward Certified Facility operates.