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The post consumptive residues of information and communication technologies - transnational e-waste flows and developmental dilemmas

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2 Author(s)
Vasudev, J. ; Siemens Corp. Technol. - India, Bangalore ; Balaji Parthasarathy

One consequence of the increased ubiquity and shortening product cycles of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is the proliferation of hazardous electronic waste (e-waste). Despite governance mechanisms to control the management and disposal of e-waste, significant quantities are exported from developed to developing countries, where they are processed in unsafe conditions in the informal sector. To understand this phenomenon, this paper examines e-waste management and disposal in India. It shows that so long as benefits from transnational e-waste flows exceed the benefits of compliance with regulations, such flows will continue. It argues that tightening regulations alone will not improve e-waste management and disposal; instead, the regulations must acknowledge and facilitate an international division of labor in the e-waste recycling industry. By doing so, they will not only address the need for employment in the informal sector; but also promote a cleaner environment.

Published in:

Information and Communication Technologies and Development, 2007. ICTD 2007. International Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-16 Dec. 2007

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