Today, we live in a world where technology is constantly evolving. Every year, new gadgets and devices hit the market with more features than ever before, thanks to technological advancements. However, while these changes are exciting and can make our lives easier, they also come with a dark side: e waste disposal (or e-waste). According to the EPA, over 75% of all discarded electronics end up in landfills instead of being recycled or reused because many people don’t know what to do with them after they’re done using them (you know who you are!). To help educate people on how to dispose of old electronics properly.
E-waste is a big problem
E-waste is a big problem. It’s also a growing one, and it’s far from contained to the AU. E-waste disposal has become an international concern in recent years as more countries suffer from the effects of improperly disposed electronics.
In poorer nations
Where many people cannot afford new gadgets or see them as unnecessary luxuries—the influx of discarded devices has caused an explosion in illegal recycling operations that pose serious health risks for those involved with the process. Meanwhile, wealthier countries are addressing this issue through “takeback” programs. That encourages manufacturers to take back used goods from consumers and dispose of them properly rather than simply selling them secondhand on sites like Craigslist, where they could end up being sold again without anyone knowing their origins.
There are a ton of harmful materials in e-waste.
The main reason e-waste is so harmful to the environment is that it contains toxic chemicals. The most common types of chemicals found in e-waste include:
- lead, mercury, and cadmium (all three metals are very poisonous)
- flame retardants (these are also very toxic)
- brominated flame retardants (BFRs) – have been linked to cancer and other health problems
E-waste is particularly bad for the environment.
E-waste can be particularly bad for the environment. As the name implies, e-waste includes anything electronic and includes circuit boards, hard drives, and other technology that cannot be recycled like regular trash. The chemicals used in making these devices are often toxic or explosive; some contain carcinogens and radioactive materials; others have corrosive properties that can harm people and the environment. The best way to deal with this kind of waste is to recycle it and dispose of it properly by taking it to a certified recycling center such as Iron Mountain’s e-cycle® program.
The majority of e-waste comes from households, not businesses.
As you can see, e-waste is a big problem. It is toxic, not reusable, and expensive to recycle. It’s no wonder that most e-waste comes from households, not businesses (66%).
Some electronic waste contains gold.
If you are wondering what happens to all the computer recylcing, it is important to know that some of it contains gold. Gold is a highly sought-after metal because of its many properties. It is resistant to corrosion and tarnishes, which makes it ideal for jewelry and other decorative accessories.
The use of gold
Gold is also used in wiring for circuit boards, connectors for circuit boards, and capacitors on circuit boards. Electronic devices have large amounts of capacitors installed within them that help maintain the power supply needed by these devices. In addition to being found in capacitors. Gold can be found in resistors on circuit boards as well as other components such as inductors and transistors.
The electronics you buy can make a huge difference.
It’s a fact of life that most of the things we buy don’t last forever. But there are ways to ensure you get as much use out of your electronics as possible, and some options will even save you money in the long run. One way to do this is by buying refurbished electronics. Refurbished products are used goods that have been fixed up and sold at a discount—they’re often just as good as new but cost less because they aren’t brand new anymore! Another option is to purchase products made to last: high-quality speakers, headphones, keyboards, and so on will last longer than cheaper ones.
If they break down later down the road (which can happen), chances are good. Someone will be able to fix them for cheap or free. Making sure you’re buying electronics with easy repairability also helps ensure longevity, for example, some smartphones come with removable batteries while others do not; these kinds of factors can make all kinds of difference when it comes time for repairs or upgrades down the line.
You should probably not throw electronics into your recycling bin.
Don’t throw your electronics in the recycling bin. It’s as simple as that. Yes, you may be tempted to do so because it’s convenient and easy, but this practice has two big problems: first, it can cause damage to your city’s recycling system; second, the material must be disposed of properly. The first issue is a matter of infrastructure maintenance: many cities have invested heavily in waste management systems over the years (and they don’t come cheap). Putting too much garbage into them can cause damage that could potentially lead to malfunctions or breakdowns—and then where would all of our e-waste go?
The second issue
It has more to do with safety than anything else. When an item gets thrown into a recycling bin or trashcan without being adequately sorted out first (e.g., separated from other materials), bad things can happen. When workers later come along with their hands full of recycling on their way back home after work shift ends at 5 pm sharp every single day without fail for 30 years straight until retirement age kicks in at 65.
If you don’t want to bring your electronics to a center, you can have one pick them up at no cost.
Several resources can help you find an e-waste collection service in your area. Start using Earth911’s search tool, which allows users to search by zip code and state when looking for nearby recycling centers and other options. Many cities also offer e-waste drop-off services as curbside recycling programs. Visit the city’s website or call its waste management department for details on what types of materials are accepted, how often trucks make stops, fees involved with dropping off items, etc. Learn more about keeping your e-waste out of landfills and oceans in this resource guide from Ocean Conservancy
The best thing you can do is to ensure that the electronics you buy are designed to be easily e waste disposal and do not contain any harmful materials. If you don’t want to bring your electronics to a center, you can have one pick them up at no cost.