Most people have E-waste they need to dispose of. It may be in ‘that draw’ full of obsolete stuff. There may be old phones, tablets, laptops or computers. Alternatively a person may have an old printer, DVD player, microwave or heater. Some may be broken whilst others are simply outdated.
There is a growing global voice that promotes the recycling of E-waste. Is this unnecessary or simply fanatical, or is there real value in doing so? Let’s find out right now.
Because Help Is At Hand
When a company has E-waste on its premises, it may not be hard to safely dispose of it. The experts at CJDECycling.com say there are companies offering tailored pickup services. Such businesses are able to responsibly deal with bulk data destruction or the decommissioning of data centres.
When both individuals and companies can dispose of their unwanted computers or electronic goods, there is no excuse for sending them to landfill.
Landfill Creates Problems
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) says that up to 60 million tonnes of E-waste are sent to landfill on an annual basis. Buried E-waste releases toxic chemicals into the ground. In turn this affects the air and surrounding wildlife.
There may be beryllium, cadmium, chromium, arsenic, mercury or lead present. The adverse elements emerge in the local groundwater and ultimately end up in freshwater.
In some cases, landfill is sent abroad to nations that use cheap labour. Such countries will have a more basic recycling process. The health of all those who are near such landfill will then be put at risk.
Much Of It Is Recyclable
The term ‘E-waste’ is actually a misnomer, because much can be upcycled or recycled. These days, many products such as phones are designed to be used for a couple of years and then replaced with an upgrade. This means they may be outdated or obsolete, but they are still fully functional. Another example would be when people ditch their DVD players in order to obtain a better picture using a blu-ray player.
E-waste may contain such valuable contents as copper, glass, silver, plastic, platinum or aluminium.
Here are two ironies:
- Only 10% to 15% of gold is recovered from this waste.
- The precious metals in E-waste are 40 to 50 times better in quality than the ore people are mining from underground.
The More It’s Recycled, The Less Mining Has To Occur
When new ore is required to create a product, the mining process creates greenhouse gas emissions. They damage the planet as a result. It is for this reason that the EPA has a list of programmes that accept donations of unwanted electrical goods.
The reality is that more and more electronic goods are being produced. This occurs when there are new technological developments. People who had mobile phones switch to having smartphones. House owners decide to live in smarthomes, where the heating and lighting is operated from a phone or separate device.
In order for our grandchildren to have a great future on Earth, it is essential that E-waste is dealt with responsibly, alongside other planet-saving steps. It’s time for everyone to step up and take action, both individually and globally.