The Perils of E-Waste and Easy Ways to Dispose of
40 million tons of e-waste is generated globally every year, so how does one ensure its safe disposal?
Electronic waste (commonly known as e-waste) is a growing type of environmental pollution in the current era. Humankind’s excessive dependence on electronic devices has led to massive production, and even growing waste being added to landfills on a regular basis. On an annual basis, the world produces an estimated 300 million computers and 1 billion mobile phones, with approximately 40 million tons of e-waste being generated simultaneously. Unfortunately, there aren’t many effective e-waste disposal methods.
E-waste is tremendously hazardous to human and environmental health. With advancements in technology, we are compulsively buying more electronics than we need, be it laptops, mobile phones, or smart TVs. Once we get bored with these possessions or something new hits the market, we discard them irresponsibly; hence, creating heaps of E-waste. This waste is created from electronic devices such as computers, TVs, laptops, printers, mobile phones, chargers, air conditioners, refrigerators, and the list goes on.
This discarded electronic material is usually buried or incinerated in landfills. It contaminates the land, water, and air, and causes many health issues. For instance, the smoke from e-waste incineration can trigger respiratory diseases such as asthma and lung cancer. The mercury, lead, and cadmium from this waste can leach into soil and water, causing kidney failure, cancer, and so on.
As this pollution stream amasses a vast portion of environmental pollution, it has become imperative that both producers and consumers take initiatives to properly dispose of e-waste. E-waste disposal methods can aid in waste management and save the planet while at it. Here are five e-waste disposal methods that you can try.
Take it to Waste Recycling Center
Just because you no longer have any use for it, you don’t need to throw your e-waste into a dustbin. You can look for an authorized e-waste recycling facility to safely dispose of your electronics. Such drop-off centers can recycle waste and reduce its environmental impact.
Sell off Outdated Technology
You can sell off any outdated electronic devices you have lying around. You can use online sites like craigslist, eBay, or hold a garage sale to help you get rid of old and outdated electronics. You can also sell your e-waste in most electronic shops. As you know, one man’s waste can be another’s treasure.
Give Back to Electronic Companies
You may not be aware of this, but a lot of electronic companies have an exchange policy. You can give back your outdated electronics when you are buying a new version, and get a discount on your new purchase. Some recycling companies have established drop-off initiatives for consumers to drop off e-waste which can be recycled later. Other than that, there are so many e-waste recycling companies that will take your outdated electronics, such as Electronic Recyclers International, Inc. (U.S.).
Hand it Over to Vendors
There are many recyclers and vendors who collect e-waste, strip valuable and reusable parts, and recycle the rest to give it a new lease of life. But you have to be careful, and do methodological research before you choose a certified vendor. Some less-than-reputable vendors will peel off valuable material and discard the remains illegally and unethically, furthering the pollution.
Donate to Charities
There are multiple government, non-profit, and resident welfare associations – such as Cerebra Integrated Technologies – where you can donate your e-waste. Old gadgets can be useful for NGOs, such as old computers and laptops. You can simply choose from a lot of organizations and businesses offering electronic donation programs.