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WEEE to reach $11 billion by 2009

The global value of Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE) will top $11 billion by 2009, according to a report by US firm Business Communications Company (BCC).

Led by China, developing nations will be the fastest growing segment of the WEEE market, with the potential to triple output over the next five years.

The report states that the worldwide market for WEEE will rise by an average annual growth rate of 8.8% from $7.2 billion in 2004 to $11 billion in 2009.

BCC has credited this predicted growth to regulation, such as the WEEE directive in Europe, forcing manufacturers to manage hazardous waste materials from cradle to grave.

Consumers' appetite for the latest technology also has much to do with it.

Computer sales continue to grow at 10% and above every 12 months, while sales of DVD players are doubling year on year.

However, the life cycles of these products are shortening, shrinking to 10 years for a television and just two or three for a computer.

Within the materials that make up WEEE, BCC forecasted that the recycled plastics sector would register the fastest growth, rising by an average of 10.2% per year.

Meanwhile, growth in metals mined from WEEE will outpace the broader recycled metals market, growing at an average annual growth rate of 8.1%.

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