Dominican Republic among the leaders of electronic waste in Latin America
Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Republic is third in Latin America for per capita generation of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste), trailing behind Uruguay and Chile. This trend of e-waste generation has been on the rise in the country, particularly following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These findings are part of the draft of the National Diagnosis of Solid Waste of the Dominican Republic 2022, a document prepared by the Ministry of the Environment and funded by the European Union. The document is currently undergoing a public consultation process until July.
The category of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) includes various devices such as household appliances, computer and telecommunications equipment, and domestic, commercial, and industrial lamps, among others.
“In the Dominican Republic, the generation of WEEE has shown a significant upward trend, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to increased usage of digital equipment and tools. Between 2015 and 2021, the generation of WEEE has increased by 35%, rising from 55,000 metric tons (Tm) to 74,000 Tm,” states the survey.
The report further highlights that in 2018, the Dominican Republic ranked third in the region for per capita generation of electrical and electronic waste, with almost 10 kilograms per inhabitant annually, trailing behind Uruguay and Chile.
The data presented in the document is derived from two previous studies: the first being the “Perspective of Waste Management in Latin America and the Caribbean” report conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2018, and the second is a study conducted in 2022 by the research department of the German firm Statista.
The Solid Waste Diagnosis emphasizes that proper management and recycling of electrical and electronic waste helps recover valuable resources and prevents environmental contamination caused by such debris.
According to the document, these waste materials contain valuable elements such as copper, tin, zinc, silver, and gold. “Every kilogram of these recycled materials can be used to produce new electronic devices with the same quality as if they were extracted from the earth,” the report concludes.