The market value of e-waste recycling and reuse services totaled close to $6.8 billion worldwide in 2010, increasing nearly 10 percent from $6.2 billion in 2009, according to a new market research study from SBI Energy.
Industry growth is expected to continue on its uphill path at least through the next decade, with collection services alone more than tripling by 2020, according to the study – which contains global e-waste recycling data from 2006 to 2010 and forecast data up to 2020.
The report, entitled “E-Waste Reuse and Recycling Services Worldwide,” predicts that the value of lead, copper, gold and other valuable materials found in e-waste components will continue to drive global market growth. In 2011, China and India are estimated to retain the largest market shares, with approximately 24 percent and 22 percent respectively, according to the report.
Although e-waste represents less than 3 percent of the world’s waste total, it is growing two to three times faster than any other waste stream, mostly due to electronics becoming obsolete more and more quickly, according to the study.
Despite rapid growth, the establishment of increasingly stringent e-waste regulations means that more old electronics are ending up in the recycling stream instead of the landfill – which only increases industry numbers, researchers said.
“As the regulatory framework for e-waste [reuse and recycling] services becomes more established – at least in some regions – the market continues to evolve and grow,” said Nana Lapham, an analyst on the study.