With the tremendous amount of our electronic waste being generated, its disposal is becoming a matter of concern. The e-waste shall be processed before disposal. And this article will provide you with trusted and safe methods to get rid of your unwanted electrical stuff.
What is E-Waste?
E-waste is any electronic and electrical tool that has been thrown away. It is a highly diverse stream of dangerous waste. This includes broken electronic items that are discarded in the garbage or donated to a charity reseller. If the item goes unsold in store, it can also be thrown away. Electronic waste is hazardous because of contaminated chemicals that naturally leach from the metals inside when buried.
Why is E-Waste disposal important?
We are all aware that e-waste is one of the greatest threats to our environment today. It contributes immensely to destroying the ozone layer, causes global warming, and contamination of waterways, oceans, and land. The leading cause for this problem lies in the fact that most of us are not aware of the importance of e-waste disposal.
The world’s electronic waste is growing at an alarming rate. Many electronics are not recycled in an environmentally friendly way. The main reasons for this include ignorance of e-waste disposal laws, low-income levels, urbanization, and insufficient infrastructure.
The manufacturing of electric devices and the use of rare materials that go into their production symbolize a massive source of embodied energy. Decreasing e-waste helps to preserve resources and lessens the amount of energy we obtain from the earth.
Reusing the valuable metals and plastics in old cell phones alone instead of making or mining more of them would save as much energy as flipping off the power to 24,000 US homes for an entire year. The typical American domestic has 24 electronic devices, and in 2012 the EPA assessed that there is 2.67 million tons worth of electronics ready to be wasted. This would fill almost five football stadiums!
Where Does Your E-Waste Go?
All electronic waste comprises deadly chemicals such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury, and brominated flame retardants. Inappropriately disposing of electronic devices rises the chances of these dangerous chemicals polluting the soil, contaminating the air, and leaching into water bodies.
Regardless of having an eco-friendly method, recycling generally leads to overseas shipping and dumping gadgets hidden in depths. Worse still is that some recycling companies transport e-waste to third-world countries and mask it as charity.
Many kids in such countries earn their livelihoods by hunting gold, silver, iron, and copper from tech waste, harmful to their health. Following are environment-friendly waste removal methods that you can use to dispose of electronic waste:
As the use of electronic devices rises, so does the amount of e-waste produced. Landfilling e-waste is a prominent methodology of waste disposal. After being collected from various generation points, the waste is transported to a nearby dumpsite to dispose it off. Although this is one of the most used waste disposal methods, it should be avoided for several reasons. Some of the harmful effects of landfilling are greenhouse gas generation, soil acidification, and water pollution. This article compares the effectiveness of open dumping with sanitary landfills and treating e-waste effectively while preventing damage to our environment.
2. Recycling Of E-Waste
The world is moving towards green power energy. But when people talk about biomass energy sources, they mostly think about solar energy and wind energy. However, the electronic devices that are of great use to us are generally powered by electricity. Although they are not an outlet for renewable sources of electricity, there is still a solution. E-waste recycling holds the key to reducing pollution caused by this electrical equipment.
Cell phones, CPU monitors, Desktops, floppy drives, laptops, keyboards, cables, and connecting wires can be re-utilized with the help of the recycling process. It involves dismantling the electronic device, separating the parts with hazardous substances like CRT, printed circuit boards, etc. Then recovering precious metals like copper, gold, or lead can be done with the help of a powerful e-waste recycler. The most critical thing here is selecting the right kind of recycler who does not break laws and handles the e-waste eco-friendly.
Nowadays, many local handyman or e-waste recycling companies are coming up with pickup facilities collecting outdated electronic items from your homes. They are also running many recycling programs for the users, retailers, and producers to collect the electronics.
3. Sell Off Your Outdated Technology
Have you recently upgraded your cell phones, computers, smart televisions, or another electronic device? You reached your breaking point with your old tech and were happy to throw it out. Chances are you either left your old tech in a drawer or placed it in the trash. Ensure that this e-waste is correctly disposed of. The good news is numerous companies can help you out with this process. Let’s look at what companies will do with your outdated technology and how they can benefit you by taking it off your hands. The e-waste recycling industry has seen tremendous progress in the past years, to the point where almost every city in the US has a nearby facility that will accept items from you.
4. Donating Your Outdated Technology
Old gadgets that you no longer need can be donated as they may be helpful to others. Your old computer may be helpful to either an NGO or students. It would be best if you asked yourself these questions before throwing away your outdated electronics:
- Are the electronic gadgets working?
- Does the device has any of your personal information?
A lot of businesses and organizations offer electronic donation programs, which you can select from.
5. Visit Civic Institutions
Ask your schools, government institutes, and universities for any recycling programs they run, as many organizations have started assigning a specific day and place for environmentally conscious citizens to come and drop off their electronic waste.
6. Give your gadgets back to Electronic Companies
When we start using any device in our daily lives, we don’t think we will be disposing of the same in some future time. When we step out of the store with our new laptops, we don’t think we will be making disposal of them in some time. But when not properly cared for and maintained, any electronic product you use might require you to give back to your electronic companies and drop off points. These sites help you get rid of your unused electronic products with ease and comfort.
There are so many ways to dispose of e-waste, but you have to be careful which method you apply to the product. Incineration is a controlled way of disposing of e-waste. However, a very recent study shows that it has severe effects on the health of those inhaling it over a period.
8. Protect the Environment and Your Sensitive Information
Electronics are an essential part of our lives today, but the flip side is the e-waste that comes along. So make sure to factory reset your electronic devices before disposing of them because the consequences of not doing so can be painful.
Ask for Professional help
Electronic waste disposal might feel like a tricky thing to do. You do not want to end up with damaged or non-functional appliances that are supposed to be donated. So it’s better to ask for professional help, the handyman will disassemble these items into parts, and the ones that still have value can be sold for reuse. Other parts are used for metals recovery. Everything within your devices gets recycled.