The need for electronic scrap recycling is rising in response to the progressively shorter lifespan of electronic products and stringent government regulations governing the collection and processing of electronic waste (e-waste). The global electronic scrap recycling market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 7.2% by volume during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Disposal or landfilling of e-waste raises serious health and environmental issues. On the contrary, its recycling proves to be a feasible solution for the elimination of its harmful effects. E-waste consists of unwanted or broken electronic or electrical devices, and peripherals such as smartphones, televisions, laptops, refrigerators, computers, printers and other electronic products. The ever-rising problem of e-waste is being solved with the use of electronic recycling. Most electronic products are made up of metals, which are recyclable. The dismantling and recycling of end-of-life electronic products promotes the conservation of undamaged natural resources. Moreover, electronic recycling helps in minimizing the air and water pollution that is common in the disposal and landfilling of e-waste. Electronic recycling consists of three main processes: collection, pre-processing, and end-processing. The overall electronic scrap market was valued at US$ 11.03 Bn in 2014.

The key drivers of the market include increased use of electronic products and shorter product lifecycle, prevention of environmental and health hazards, stringent regulation governing the collection and processing of e-waste and economic advantages of e-waste recycling. One of the key advantages of electronic recycling is the elimination of environmental and health hazards instigated by the disposal of e-waste in landfills. According to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the U.S., more than 4 million tons of e-waste are disposed in landfills every year, and this volume is expected to increase in the coming years. This e-waste contains a substantial amount of toxic and non-biodegradable substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and antimony. When e-waste is disposed in landfills, these toxic substances contaminate the water and soil, resulting in health problems. Recycling e-waste minimizes its propensity to cause health and environmental hazards. The use of electronic products and household equipment is on the rise globally. Most of the resultant e-waste from discarded electronic and household equipment is disposed of in landfills or exported illegally across international borders. The hazardous effects of e-waste and stringent government regulations to prevent improper disposal make electronic scrap one of the fastest-growing recycling segments. Europe is the second largest producer of e-waste in the world. The European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive focuses on maximizing the recycling and re-use of e-waste and minimizes the amount of it disposed in landfills. According to this legislation, every year a minimum of four kilograms of e-waste per capita of the national population should be collected and recycled. This requirement might surge to approximately 13 to 16 kilograms of e-waste per person per year. Likewise, the Australian government has taken many initiatives to promote e-waste recycling. According to the Australian National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS), rather than exporting and landfilling, e-waste must be recycled according to the environmental guidelines. In order to promote this practice, since mid-2012, e-waste collection services have been provided across Australia and existing facilities were used for recycling. Presently, to collect obsolescent computers and televisions more than 40 drop off points are operational in the country. Moreover, in March 2012, the U.S. General Service Administrator (GSA) announced a new e-waste policy for Federal Government banning all Federal agencies, from disposing e-waste in landfills. Thus, stringent regulations pertaining to environmentally friendly processing of e-waste drives the electronic recycling market. However, high costs involved in recycling process and technical barriers to the smelting and refining processes posing challenge to the market growth.

On the basis of metals extracted, the global electronic scrap recycling market is segmented into ferrous, non-ferrous and precious metals. In terms of volume, in 2014, ferrous metals were the major contributor in the market. However, non-ferrous metals segment is expected to expand at a substantial CAGR during the forecast period. In terms of revenue, precious metals segment dominated the market. The segment is predicted to hold its dominant position in the electronic scrap recycling market throughout the forecast period.

The electronic equipment contributing to the electronic scrap generated globally include office, IT equipment, and handheld devices, large white goods, small household appliances, lighting and electric product and automotive components. In 2014, large white goods are the major contributor to the electronic scrap generated globally. However, small household appliances are expected to expand at a substantial CAGR during the forecast period. Europe is the largest market for electronic scrap recycling, globally. Strong government regulations and huge profits generated through the recovery of precious metals from electronic scrap is expected to lead to a rise in the revenues of the electronic scrap recycling market in Europe in the coming years.

The global electronic scrap recycling market is consolidated, with a very small number of players dominating the global market. The most important strategy adopted by key players in the global electronic scrap recycling market is the geographical expansion of their businesses in order to gain a competitive edge in the market. For instance, in May 2010, LS-Nikko Copper, Inc. started its first U.S. liaison office at Electronic Recyclers International heaquarters, in Fresno, California. The company also believes in business expansion through the establishment of a wide geographical network. Consequently, it has established branches in various countries to deal with a competitive business environment proactively. LS-Nikko Copper imports raw materials and copper ores from Indonesia, Chile, Brazil, Peru, and Argentina among other countries. Moreover, it sells smelted products, including copper, in domestic and international markets. Another important strategy adopted by electronic recycling companies is innovation in the recycling process. Umicore N.V. is an example of an innovator in this market. In September 2014, Umicore signed a new standard for the processing of copper bearings or precious metal waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) fractions. The new standard is expected to contribute to enhancing the overall performance of the recycling chain, thus opposing the illegal use or practices of harmful and inefficient technologies for recycling.

The global electronic scrap recycling market, in current situation shows the presence of key players including Boliden Group, Umicore N.V., Dowa Holdings Co., Ltd., Ultromex Ltd., LS-Nikko Copper Inc., Glencore Xstrata Plc, Enviro-Hub Holdings Ltd., Outotec Oyj, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Materials USA Corporation, MRP Company, Inc., Aurubis AG, and JX Nippon Mining and Metal Corporation, Electronic Recyclers International, Inc., Sims Metal Management Ltd., Stena Technoworld AB, Tetronics Ltd., and Global Electric Electronic Processing Inc.

This report aims to provide a comprehensive strategic analysis of the global electronic scrap recycling market along with revenue and growth forecasts for the period from 2013 to 2022. The proliferation of computing and electronic devices such as smartphones, computers, tablets, televisions, small home appliances, digital cameras, music players, and laptops; shorter product lifecycles; and government legislations governing electronic waste (e-waste) are major factors influencing the electronic scrap recycling market. Hardly any electronic and electrical product does not contain metals or is not dependent on metals for its manufacturing. In e-waste recycling, damaged and unusable electronic and electrical products are processed and the metals they contain are extracted for use in new products.  

Electronic and electrical products are progressively part of our life. In order to ensure that they have only a minimum impact on environment, end-of-life electronic products must be processed and the metals they contain must be recycled. The total volume of e-waste is increasing globally, but the number of smelters available to process it is very small. In recent years, collected and scrapped electronic products have accounted for the largest increase in material type, primarily in the form of printed circuit boards (PCBs) from mobile phones and computers. Boliden Group (Boliden Rönnskär) has been melting out different types of recycling materials since 1960. The company owns technologies developed in-house, as well as an extensive capacity to process different type of materials. 

This research study on the global electronic scrap recycling market provides a detailed analysis of how recycling and smelting companies in different regions are using electronic scrap for the extraction of different types of ferrous, non-ferrous, and precious metals from electronic scrap. The report offers an in-depth study of the market drivers, restraints, and growth opportunities. Using these factors, the report identifies various trends expected to impact the market during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. The report includes a comprehensive coverage of the underlying economic, environmental, and technological factors influencing the electronic scrap recycling market. It provides the competitive landscape of key players in the electronic recycling market in order to highlight the state of competition therein. The report also provides a detailed competitive analysis of the key players in electronic recycling and identifies various business strategies adopted by them. The study explains the penetration of each market segment within various geographies, and how these segments have accelerated the growth of electronic recycling market. 

Based on the materials extracted, the electronic recycling market is segmented into ferrous, non-ferrous, and precious metals. Based on the type of electronic products, the market is segmented into IT, office equipment, and handheld devices; large electronic appliances; small household appliances; and other appliances. The office, IT equipment, and handheld devices segment consists of computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and other office related electronic equipment. The large electronic appliances comprises televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, video, audio equipment and other equipment. Small household appliances include toasters, vacuum cleaners, and coffee machines and other appliances. The others segment includes lighting, electric fittings, and automotive equipment. The report aims to provide a comprehensive, cross-sectional analysis of the electronic scrap recycling market across major geographies such as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. 

The report includes an overview of the market strategies, annual revenues, and the recent developments of key companies operating in the market. The key market participants profiled in this study include Boliden Group, Umicore N.V., Dowa Holdings Co., Ltd., Ultromex Ltd., LS-Nikko Copper Inc., Glencore Xstrata Plc, Enviro-Hub Holdings Ltd., Outotec Oyj, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Materials USA Corporation, Aurubis AG, and JX Nippon Mining and Metal Corporation. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the raw materials feed, smelting, and refining processes pertaining to the recycling of electronic scrap offered by these leading players. Information on research and development activities, business processes, and upcoming technologies for the extraction of various metals from electronic waste is also included in the report. 

Market Segmentation: 

Electronic Scrap Recycling Market Analysis, by Metals Extracted (Revenue and Volume)

  • Ferrous
  • Non-ferrous
  • Precious 

Electronic Scrap Generation Market Analysis, by Type of Product (Volume)

  • IT, office equipment and handheld devices
  • Large White Goods
  • Small home appliances
  • Others 

In addition, the report provides cross sectional analysis of the electronic scrap recycling market with respect to following geographical segments (Revenue and Volume):

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Middle East and Africa (MEA)
  • Latin America