Dominican Republic generates a large amount of electronic waste
According to a German company Statista, which specializes in market and consumer data, by 2019, the Dominican Republic was the tenth largest generator of electronic waste in Latin America and the Caribbean, rolling 67,000 metric tons, representing an increase of about 22% compared to 2015.
What is electronic and electrical waste?
Electronic and electrical wastes are components or equipment incapable of fulfilling the task for which they were created; they are known under the concept of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment).
The inadequate treatment of WEEE can cause several types of damage to human health. They affect the brain, the nervous system, and the circulatory system due to heavy metals such as chromium, mercury, cadmium, and lead found in these wastes.
A nickel-cadmium cell phone battery contaminates 50,000 liters of water and a television 80,000 liters in the environment.
The World Health Organization (WHO), in its report “Children and Electronic Waste Dumps,” indicated that urgent measures must be taken to protect millions of children, pregnant women, and adolescents around the world who are at risk as a result of irresponsible recycling of electrical and electronic devices.
What is the Dominican Republic currently doing?
The Dominican Republic is a signatory to the Basel Convention, and Law 225-20 on Integral Management and Co-processing of Solid Waste provides for managing these wastes. However, to date, no effective policies have been implemented to dispose of such waste properly.
This year, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and other institutions are working on the elaboration of a regulation to face this problem.
You may also be interested in reading: SDE City Hall recycles more than 273 tons of solid waste.
One of the first actions carried out was the workshop “Governmental Sector Consultation for the Integral Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE),” held in June of this year to identify the key actors that would help to improve the management of such waste.
The workshop was in charge of the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (INDOTEL). The participating entities were: the Vice-Minister of Environmental Management, the Directorate of Environmental Quality, the Vice-Minister of International Cooperation, the Directorate of Environmental Quality and the Program for the Integral Management of Solid Waste (PROGIRS), among others.