Pollution from E-wastes : The Big Picture

What is E-waste?

E-waste refers to all types of waste containing electrically powered components. It is short for e-Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) (Josh, 2015). The term is often used to describe electronic products that are unwanted, not working, and nearing or at the end of their “useful life.” Common electric products include computers, televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers, and fax machines (Great Lakes Electronics Corporation, n.d.).

What are the types of E-waste?

Given the presence of a large number of e-wastes, there have been efforts in categorising e-wastes to facilitate disposal. The below highlights the types of e-waste, as well as examples.

  1. ICT and Telecommunications Equipment: laptops, PCs, telephones, mobile phones
  2. Office Electronics: calculators, photocopying equipment, electrical and electronic typewriters, telephones and fax machines
  3. Large Household Appliances: refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, air conditioner appliances
  4. Small Household Appliances: vacuum cleaners, irons, blenders, fryers
  5. Consumer Equipment: video and audio equipment, musical instruments
  6. Medical Equipment: all medical equipment with the exception of implants
  7. Toys leisure and sports equipment: electronic toys, models, sports equipment
  8. Monitoring devices: detectors, thermostats, laboratory equipment

Adapted from (Paul’s Rubbish, 2018; Marius Pedersen, n.d.)

Of course, these types and examples are non-exhaustive especially when new technology is constantly being invented. But given some ideas of what e-wastes are, check back in next week to read our post on how e-wastes causes environmental pollution!



Great Lakes Electronics Corporation. (n.d.). What is E-waste? Definition and Why It’s Important. https://www.ewaste1.com/what-is-e-waste/

Josh, J. (2015, August 27). Types of e – Waste. https://www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/types-of-e-waste-1440681505-1

Marius Pedersen. (n.d.). E-waste collection and transport. https://www.mariuspedersen.cz/en/about-marius-pedersen/services/58.shtml

Paul’s Rubbish. (2018, July 23). 7 Types of E-Waste. https://www.paulsrubbish.com.au/7-types-e-waste/