Material Flow of Informal Electronic Waste Dismantling in Rural Area of Northeastern Thailand
There is a huge amount of electronic waste (e-waste) worldwide. In Thailand, there is a rapid growth in the number of informal e-waste separators who dismantle and recover electronic waste mostly comes from households. This study illustrates the material flow of e-waste dismantling in rural area of northeastern Thailand by informal separators. The dismantling process uses primitive methods to separate materials from the equipment, such as physical dismantling by hammer, chisel, and screw driver, and open burning some components. The result showed the amount and types of e-waste. It was found that there were 12 types of e-wastes that the informal separators buy from households or recycled junk shop. Valuable materials were steel, copper, aluminium, stainless, plastic, and wires. When the 12 e-wastes were dismantled, the amount of the sorted materials was found to be in the percentage of 69.48-96.59%. This was considered a high portion compared to the percentage of non-valuable materials. This is why people are becoming more interested in this activity, without considering the impact on the environment and health caused by improper handling.
Keywords- Electronic waste, Informal separators, Material flow