There are numerous sources of waste on our planet, and e-waste is one of the major steadily growing streams. Unfortunately, the more accessible electronics are, the more the increase in this type of waste. However, what exactly is it, and are there any ways of recycling it? Keep on reading to discover more.
What is E-Waste?
E-waste, also known as electronic waste, consists of electrical and electronic equipment that are no longer needed, obsolete, or broken. In other words, these products near the end of their useful life. Nonetheless, e-waste can also refer to the electronic materials already used and are given out to charity organizations. Unfortunately, when electronic items go unsold in stores, they end up getting thrown away. There are various kinds of e-waste, from the smartphones you use, computers, refrigerators, to televisions.
Therefore, when you decide to throw away or destroy any equipment that operates on electricity, you add on to e-waste. Notably, there are many users of electronic gadgets. This, therefore, means that a lot of the unused and unwanted electronics go to waste. Unfortunately, little is done to recycle or reuse them. It is shocking to learn that globally, only 10% of electronic waste is recycled, with the remaining percentage filing landfills in different places worldwide.
Remember, e-waste is harmful since it contains toxic chemicals that might pose a danger to the soil, water, wildlife and the air we breathe. Some of the hazardous materials they contain include lead, mercury, beryllium, and cadmium. The saddest part is that the toxic chemicals can still get leached from the metals when the electronic equipment is buried.
There have been ongoing debates on how best to dispose of unwanted and used electronic products to address this issue. So, how about you find out about how you can recycle this kind of waste?
How to Recycle E-Waste
If you love the environment and are passionate about it, you no doubt want to be responsible and take care of it. Well, you continually use electronic devices and equipment. Also, you keep changing and upgrading to the latest models once the old ones are phased out. However, can you can still recycle them and help save the environment?
Remember, holding on to electronic equipment for a little longer before recycling goes a long way to help conserve the environment. Alternatively, you can have your electronics refurbished by selling them rather than recycling them. Why not trade your phone, laptop, tablet or any other electronic to get the money and reduce e-waste?
Additionally, the next time you feel like owning a new phone or laptop, you can also consider the secondhand market to buy refurbished items. However, when you are determined to recycle, how do you dispose of the electronic equipment correctly?
The following are some beneficial tips you can try;
- Get a Certified E-waste Recycler
Globally, almost 90% of e-waste is disposed of illegally. If this report from the UN is anything to go by, then there is no doubt the environment is at risk and is threatened. Therefore, you want to ensure you are not a part of the illegal group by recycling your e-waste through a certified recycler with the proper process.
If a team, business, or organization near you ensures companies in charge of waste management are responsibly disposing of the e-waste, you can work with them. This is one way of ensuring you don't be a part of the illegal trade around e-waste.
So, always ensure the recycler you go for is certified. This way, you know you dispose of the e-waste responsibly. Plus, imagine how satisfied you will feel knowing that you engaged in the legal waste disposal trade and had a role to prevent any danger or hazard to the environment or human health.
Moreover, don't shy away from asking the recycler how the waste will be disposed of.
- Explore the Various Recycling Options Available
Proper and responsible e-waste recycling might involve taking further steps, such as exploring the many options of recycling services available near you. For instance, you can confirm from the manufacturer of your electronic or electrical item if they accept back those already used. Some brands allow their users to recycle their items either online or in their stores. If your manufacturer has this provision, take advantage of it.
Moreover, other retailers offer to take back their used items once you purchase a new one from them again. Therefore, your e-waste, such as an old TV, can have a better way of getting recycled rather than irresponsibly dumping it.
So, regardless of the options you choose, you can drop off the e-waste on your own to either the manufacturer or retailer. On the other hand, you can have the item collected directly from you.
- Set a Policy
E-waste is available in almost every place, from your house to the office, your workstation and so on. Therefore, if you are a business, why not set a policy that governs e-waste disposal at the workplace?
Moreover, as a business, you can target reducing your e-waste by a certain percentage in a specific period. Having waste audits can sure be beneficial.
Additionally, as a business, make it your goal to consume fewer electronics. If you have to upgrade the devices and appliances you use, recycle the older ones.
Therefore, with a policy at your workplace, you can help support healthier and cleaner earth.
Globally, the consumption of electronic and electrical equipment and appliances is greatly increasing. This, in turn, translates to an increase in e-waste. Unfortunately, a greater percentage of this isn't properly disposed of and end up in landfills. However, for a healthier globe, there are steps you can take to ensure you dispose of the e-waste responsibly. First, you can ensure the e-waste recycler you choose is certified and follow the laid out procedure of e-waste disposal. Also, you can have a policy at your business and explore the various e-waste disposal services available.