Recycle E-Waste Properly and Save Gorillas
Modern technology presents us with various benefits, from Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phones and smaller laptops, energy-efficient washing machines and dryers. All these new toys leave behind a wake of old and unwanted contraptions. If we dispose of these unwanted items inappropriately, they can be damaging to the environment since they point to water, soil, and air pollution. So, the best way to save our environment is to recycle electronic waste.
What is E-waste?
E-waste points to all waste from worn-out electronics. There’s an increased generation of electronic waste when people buy new items to substitute old ones. For example, during the 2009’s switch from analog to digital television broadcasting in the United States, the advancements in technology made using old televisions almost impossible.
What makes E-waste so important?
Although E-waste is just a fraction of the total waste generated in the world; two things make E-waste recycling necessary.
- Precious metals
- Toxic substances
Have you ever questioned why electronics are tiny? It’s because of valuable metals, for instance; copper, gold, silver, platinum, and other precious metals. All these metals have desirable features, making them useful to electronics manufacturers. They are also scarce; making them difficult to source. So retrieving them from obsolete items is simpler than mining them afresh.
The other issue with electronic waste is hazardous substances. Some like older TVs and computer monitors contain tons of lead which end up in landfills. Remember, this is just one of the toxic materials; there are many other chemicals used in computers, mobile phones, and electronics.
What are the benefits of recycling E-waste?
The benefits of recycling electronic waste are manifold. If we dump all the old electronics in water and landfills, the results may be catastrophic. Electronic waste contains toxic substances and harmful metals; making it necessary to dispose them of in the right way.
- Reduce pollution– We are all aware that electronic waste is laden with toxic substances that are detrimental to humans, animals, and the environment. People who reside in spots surrounded by electronic waste are at a high risk of severe ailments as a result of breathing these toxic chemicals. Things get even worse when such debris is left on the ground unprocessed. It can eventually find its way into streams and rivers, leading to water contamination.
- Conservation of natural resources– Most of our natural resources are non-renewable by nature. By recycling electronic waste appropriately, it becomes possible to separate valuable materials that are useful in the manufacture of new products. So, we end up saving on energy, reducing pollution and preserving resources.
- Recycling saves energy- It takes less energy to process recycled materials than to extract raw materials from the environment. For instance, it takes less energy to recycle aluminum than to mine it from the earth. Again, less energy required to transport raw materials from the source. As a result, there are lower levels of pollution from carbon emissions.
- Space for landfills– Waste disposal is a global issue. All governments are seeking ways of lessening the amount of space needed for landfills since the environment gets more polluted as we expand landfills. The problem is that landfills utilize a lot of space that could be useful for other activities like farming and housing.
Additionally, most of the waste abandoned in the dumps can’t dissolve, making it a real problem. As electronic devices become more popular, so does the amount of electronic waste, this makes E-waste recycling necessary.
- Creation of employment-If all people could embrace the habit of electronic waste recycling; there would be more e-waste recycling firms and requiring more experts.
- Recycling saves money- Products made from recycled items are less costly, enabling us to save money while conserving the environment.
Are there electronic waste recycling programs available?
The availability of electronic waste recycling programs varies from a region to the other. Also, some retailers offer to take back worn-out electronics and recycle them on behalf of their customers. So, as you purchase your gadgets, find out if the retailer provides recycling services.
Are there alternatives to recycling?
Of course, yes. There are many great alternatives.
- 1. Donations– Any items that are still functional can be donated to charities or given to friends.
- 2. Free-cycling-This involves passing on your unwanted items to others in need; it’s also a great way of getting a new home for old electronics. Websites like Freecycle.org and Craiglist are excellent spots to list any usable items that you wish to give away. By so doing, anyone interested can contact you and plan to pick them up.
- 3. Selling online– Selling broken electronics is a simple way of disposing of electronic waste. Various firms purchase unwanted mobile phones and other electronic items. So, sell your unwanted mobile phone and acquire the fittest smartphone to start exploring the fabulous features. OCT smartphones make life simple by empowering you to take photography to the next level.
- Buy fewer electronics- Most people purchase numerous electronics and end up not using them. By so doing, they increase the electronic build-up. So, it’s advisable to obtain only the necessary items.
Can E-electronic waste be thrown in the trash?
In most countries, it’s prohibited to throw electronic waste into the trash. Why not preserve the environment and recycle your broken electronics? Instead of dumping broken gadgets in dustbins, surrender them to recycling programs near you.
What happens to recycled items?
Some of the unwanted items can be repaired or refurbished. For instance; a used computer that has been in use for a few years may not suit a modern office but could be renewed and sold to a student or a home user. The remaining items are broken and shredded into tiny pieces of materials like; iron, copper, glass, aluminum, and circuit board. The shredded pieces can be recycled and recreated into new products.
Will my data be secure?
Most people worry about their information remaining in worn electronics; this applies to mobile phones, tablets, and hard drives. Reputable recycling companies are careful with electronics that may contain personal information. They ensure that information is thoroughly wiped out and destroyed.
Which items should I recycle?
Everyone must understand what can be recycled out of the items they use each day. Most people assume that only mobile phones, computers, cameras and televisions can be recycled. But, almost anything can be re-processed to serve other purposes. So, water bottles, aluminum, glass, paper, metal, plastic electronics, and textiles are all highly recyclable materials.
In the offices, cell phones, ink cartridges, keyboards, computers, batteries, car batteries, light bulbs, wires, and cables can be useful in making other products. For instance, used glass can create beautiful or decorative jars, beverage materials, or other glass materials used for construction.
On the other hand, newspapers can be turned to cardboards or tissue papers, saving a considerable space in landfills. Plastics are harder to recycle than other materials. Different types of plastic require different recycling processes. However, you can recycle food, leftovers, and other garden waste at home. By digging a compost pit, you will yield more crops that are free from poisonous chemicals.
Recycling is an excellent way of saving on extracting new materials from the earth. It leads to reduced energy use, lowered greenhouse gas emissions, and less pollution. It also lessens the need for waste disposal in landfills. Most importantly, recycling of electronic waste makes our environment a safer place for both humans and animals.