Bert, you are quite correct that many developing nations are bearing the brunt of these eWaste. Often lax local regulations and graft from politicians & businesses also have a hand in this play.
One thing governments can do is to provide incentives to recycle and reuse the parts by the same companies that produce them in the first place. I know this is easier said and harder to implement given the chronic off-shoring of hardware manufacturing. There needs to be a model in parts pricing that can make this happen... I do realize many sellers collect recycling fee when one buys an electronic appliance but I wonder how these funds are really used.
Rick, African countries appear to bear the brunt of the e-waste problem, NOT because they are benefitting from Moore's law, but because the e-waste is shipped to them. The article said that the "used goods" shipped to Africa are mostly non-functional, and therefore are misclassified, to avoid the costs of legitimate recycling.
You can turn in used electronic products at Best Buy stores, for instance. I thought those products were being recycled. This article implies that instead, they may be shipped to developing countries that have a significant "middle class," where they are refurbished and actually reused. Interesting. That's news to me.
My takeway is the faster/smaller/cheaper ethic of Moore's Law in developing countries drives this e-waster build up, and it seems there hasn't been enough attention to just how fast its rising, where it's going and what can be done about it.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.