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What is e-waste and e-waste recycling?

Someone does not need to be a regular user of electronic products to know that electronic products have a limited lifetime no matter the price & quality. So, what happens to them after they become unusable? Sometimes, these are left as waste without reuse. Other times, this waste, more appropriately the e-waste, is recycled through proper medium. Here we discuss with you the in’s and out’s of e-waste recycling. 

E-waste recycling is one of the world’s highest need of nowadays due to the ability to reduce environmental hazards and pollution. “E-waste” is the term that is used for all type of electrical and electronic waste – broken, obsolete, and garbage generated from surplus electric and electronic devices. You will also listen to it as “e-scrap”. 

Generally, electronic products often have toxic chemicals and hazardous materials. And when you do not dispose the electronic products correctly, it can cause the release of toxic substances in the environment.

To avoid such hazardous circumstances is born the process of e-waste recycling – the re-processing and reusing of the e-waste. It is a process that recover useful components from electronic waste. In this way, we can use them in other electronic products. And the unusable e-waste is recycled and converted into the raw material which is used in manufacturing of new products.

Any unusable, obsolete and defected electrical and electronic product can be counted as E-waste for example home appliances such as your air conditioner, television, electric cooker, air conditioner, heater, DVD, fans, microwave, and radio. They may also be in the form of information technology equipment such as your computer, laptop, mobile phone, battery, hard disk, circuit board and monitor.

You should know that e-waste recycling is very important because the lifetime of electronic product is short and fast changing the in the technology also making the electronic products outdated and it helps in rise of electronic waste quickly.

Recycling of e-waste is a growing trend, and due to the effect of extensive environmental pollution of e-waste, it mainly started to protect human and ecological health.

WHAT CAN BE RECYCLED? 

How many mobiles are there in your life? The answer to this question will give you an idea of the impact that a technical glitch – or e-waste – has on the planet. According to Marketwatch, in 2018, consumers changed their mobile every 15 months. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines electronic waste as any device powered by electrical energy that has reached the end of its working life. So we are not just talking about mobile. Let us look at some WEEE types (Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment), which are per a European Union (EU) directive. 

  • Fridges, freezers, and other cooling appliances. 
  • Computer and telecommunications equipment. 
  • Consumer electronic equipment and solar panels. 
  • TV, monitor, and screen.
  • LED bulbs. 
  • Vending machines. 
     

HOW CAN WE REDUCE TECHNOLOGICAL GARBAGE? 

“Global e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream,” claims Peter Bakker, president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Facing this, he is pushing for immediate measures. Let’s take a look at some of them: 

 
Reduce

We are using more and more devices and replacing them more often. Changing this habit depends on the consumer – who should be less sensitive to marketing strategies that encourage consumption – on manufacturers who are increasingly adopting policies ecologically. 

 
Reuse

Experts in electronic recycling recommend that friends or family inherit devices that still work or are offered in the second-hand market. There is also the possibility of donating them to a unique charity. 

 
Recycle

When the item no longer works, and there is no chance of being used by someone close, recycling should be an option. The consumer’s alternative is to hand over the old device to the shop where the new one is purchased or to a company specializing in electronic refurbishment. 

AWARENESS ABOUT E-WASTE RECYCLING

E-Waste recycling helps in eliminating environmental risks and also conserves resources and reduce use and cost of energy needed to make new raw material. Raw material made by recycled product costs less and by using them manufacturers can cut down the production cost as well.

Currently, awareness about e-waste recycling is very much limited in people, and to help in making the environment pollution free we have to spread the word about the benefits of E-waste recycling. It is a need of the time.