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Story Highlights

  • Opposition Spokesperson on Science and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, says that the area of e-waste and e-waste recycling represents a promising emerging market for Jamaica.
  • He was making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate on Wednesday, April 15, in the House of Representatives.
  • He informed that reports have shown that by 2017, the annual volume of e-waste will increase to an estimated 65.4 million tonnes.

Opposition Spokesperson on Science and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, says that the area of e-waste and e-waste recycling represents a promising emerging market for Jamaica, while also having the potential to bridge the gap between technology and the environment.

He was making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate on Wednesday, April 15, in the House of Representatives.

“Let us, for a moment think about the number of devices we use and discard that fall into this category – refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, stereo systems, air conditioners, printers, copiers, desktop and laptop computers, monitors and screens, cell phones, tablets, batteries and so on.

“All of these items have some form of electronics embedded in them, which means there are circuit boards there (which) have become a valuable alternative source of base metals such as copper and tin, as well as rare metals such as silver, gold and platinum. Improper disposal of these items can cause a serious environmental hazard …this presents an opportunity for the country,” he said.

He informed that reports have shown that by 2017, the annual volume of e-waste will increase to an estimated 65.4 million tonnes.

Dr. Wheatley said that this presents an opportunity to engage telecoms providers, appliance retailers and repair shops, information technology service providers and entities that sell, repair or stockpile end-of-life electronic devices and materials.

“E-waste is big business and we need to get our ducks in a row now… so that as a country we can carve out our niche and reap the benefits of this lucrative market,” he said.