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Environmental Protection & Preservation

Dataserv Takes Pioneering Role In StEP's Launch To The United Nations

Dataserv, the UK's leading asset retirement solution provider for ethical recycling and reuse of electronic and electrical equipment, will be a key participant at Solving the E-Waste Problem's (StEP) launch to the United Nations and National representatives in New York today. As a founder member of StEP, and the only charter member from the UK private sector, Dataserv is taking a pioneering role in raising awareness of the hazards of e-waste and promoting the creation of global standards in the processes of recycling electronic scrap (e-scrap) to harvest valuable materials and minimise environmental pollution.

One of the fastest growing components of the global waste stream, e-scrap is also, arguably, one of the most troublesome. The European Environmental Agency calculates that the volume of e-scrap is now rising roughly three times faster than other forms of municipal waste. The total annual global volume of e-scrap is soon expected to reach roughly 40 million metric tons enough to fill a line of tipper lorries stretching half way around the world.

At StEP's launch on 19th April, Dataserv will spearhead two - ReUse and ReCycle -of StEP's five taskforces, which will help shape government policies worldwide and address the issues related to re-design and product life expectancy, reuse and recycling, and help build relevant capacity in developing nations.

The ReUse taskforce will focus on the development of replicable and sustainable reuse/refurbishment/spare parts development systems in order to minimise environmental, health and safety impact, while the major objective of the ReCycle taskforce will be to enhance infrastructures, systems and technologies to recognise sustainable e-waste recycling. Dataserv will be at the forefront of the taskforce's efforts to initiate international, inter-stakeholder cooperative activities and dialogues on a scientific basis to find economically, environmentally and socially sound solutions to the growing problem of e-waste.

Neal Saunders, Managing Director, Dataserv, comments: "The enormous growth in e-waste, particularly from computing and office equipment, is being fueled by the transition from analogue to digital technology. As a result, we're seeing rapid product innovation and shorter lifecycles as both consumers and businesses replace electronic equipment with increasing frequency. While the developed nations may have rigorous processes in place to deal with e-scrap, in many less developed countries that is certainly not the case; in fact, many unscrupulous recyclers often use the developing countries as dumping grounds for e-waste or as illegal recycling centres."

"Through StEP, we hope to educate the developing nations about the best practice of dealing with electronic scrap and create a change in global thinking about the treatment of e-waste. I am therefore delighted that we are speaking at both the ReUse and ReCycling taskforces. This is a global issue not just one country's problem and it's crucial that we awaken the consciousness of the United Nations to the perils of the reuse and recycling of electronic equipment."

Ruediger Kuehr, United Nations University's StEP Secretariat, says, "A global guide to dismantling e-scrap and maximizing the recovery and controlling of recovered substances is a major StEP objective. We are pleased to have a pan-European company such as Dataserv as a founder member and are confident that their in depth experience of recycling and reusing electrical and electronic equipment will have a major impact towards achieving StEP's objectives."

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