We all upgrade to new electronic devices from time to time. But we often face the challenge of dealing with old electronics. How can we dispose of E-waste? This has been a major challenge for many people all over the world. And the piling up of old and unused electronics is what leads to E-waste. In 2018, across the whole world, there were over 50 million tons of E-waste produced. The average household in Australia, for instance, generates about 73 kilos of E-waste every single year!
What is E-Waste?
E-waste simply refers to the electronics that we have dumped or those that are no longer in use. They may have broken down, or have gotten closer to the end of their working/useful life. Sometimes, they may still be functioning right, but are simply just unwanted.
The idea of E-waste causing havoc and looking for ways how to dispose of it is a debate that dates back to the early 70s. We have made considerable progress, but we are not out of the woods just yet. There’s still a long stride to make when it comes to completely deal with E-waste.
Why is E-Waste Bad?
This is an era where there are rapid advancements in technology. Therefore, you’d definitely expect to see a lot of electronic waste. If you sit down and think of the effects that E-waste has had on our planet, you will start to see why it is important to deal with it. There are a lot of reasons why E-waste is bad. But here are some of the main ones:
- Health problems emerge due to the presence of electronic waste materials. Some of the health concerns that come through include neurological problems, digestive concerns, respiratory issues, and bone problems.
- Throwing E-waste into landfills leads to their toxic materials seeping into groundwater. And this then affects both land and sea animals. This can ideally also affect the health of humans living close by.
- E-waste damages the atmosphere when toxic chemicals go through the air. This is one of the biggest impacts E-waste has on the environment.
- Most electronics and computers, to be more precise, have toxic materials such as zinc, lead, barium, nickel, chromium, and flame retardants. These metals, particularly lead, can lead to human blood damage, and can also damage the central nervous system and kidneys.
Best Way to Dispose of Your Old Electronics
There are various eco-friendly ways that you can use to dispose of your electronics in a safe way. This way, no life is affected, and the environment remains a safe haven. Here are some of the ways that you can use it:
- Give the electronics back to the manufacturer. This is a simple yet effective way to dispose of e-waste. Some electronics companies even have a discount policy when you bring your old electronics and buy new ones.
- Use civic institutions. You can ask local universities, governments, and schools about any recycling initiatives that they are running. If you find one, you can drop off your old electronics there.
- Donate outdated technology. If the old item is working fine, you can donate it to someone else in need. You might not see the need for it, but someone else probably does.
- Sell off outdated technology. If donating is not a feasible option, then you can sell the electronics that you no longer need. There are a lot of sites that provide an avenue to sell second-hand items. Such include Craigslist.
- Use a certified e-waste recycler. If you know one around you, you might as well consider them for recycling your electronics. It will be cheaper and environmentally friendly.
Basically, the rule of thumb when dealing with old electronics is that if it works, you should either donate, reuse, or sell it. On the flip side, if it’s not working, then you should either recycle, sell parts, donate parts, or reuse parts.
What Tech Devices Can You Recycle?
There are lots of electronics that you can recycle. Ideally, the list is endless. But here’s one still for you to check out:
- Office equipment.
- Wearable gadgets.
- Game consoles.
- Voice assistants.
- DVD or Blu-Ray players.
- Cell phones.
Where Can You Take Old Electronics for Recycling?
The electronics that we use are made using valuable materials that we can recollect and use once more. Hence, there’s a sufficient need for recycling old electronics. There are several recycling services that you can use. Some of the most common ones include the following:
- One-off recycling collection events – are often run by local councils.
- Retail outlets.
- Permanent collection sites through local waste transfer stations or resource recovery stations.
Now, we hope that by now you have seen the effects that e-waste has on the planet. But luckily, there are solutions, which we hope that you will follow to keep Mother Nature safe for this and the coming generations.