E-waste, also known as electronic waste, refers to electronic products that have come towards the end of their “useful life” or have become obsolete. However, what constitutes e-waste is a very broad category as we’re literally surrounded by what would become potentially become e-waste on a daily basis. It can include computers, monitors, televisions, stereos, copiers, printers, fax machines, cellphones, DVD players, cameras, batteries, and several other electronic devices.
As we keep upgrading to new electronic devices, we often don’t realize the impact disposing of our old electronic devices has on our environment.
Below is a list of the top 10 hazards of e-waste to our precious environment.
- Most electronic devices, such as laptops, TVs, DVD players, etc., contain toxic materials such as lead, zinc, nickel, flame retardants, barium, and chromium. All these materials, especially lead, when dumped, are harmful to human health if released into the environment. They can cause damage to human blood, kidneys, as well as central and peripheral nervous systems.
- When you dump your electronic waste instead of giving it to a certified recycler, often the e-waste is burned on a large scale to get rid of it. But these electronic devices contain several metals and chemicals that release toxic chemicals into the air damaging the atmosphere when warmed up. Several electronic appliances such as refrigerators contain CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), one of the significant contributors to ozone layer depletion. The damage to the atmosphere is one of its most significant environmental impacts.
- When electronic waste is thrown away in landfills, toxic materials seep into groundwater, affecting land and sea animals. It can also affect people’s health in developing countries where most electronic waste is dumped. Countries like India, Thailand, Malaysia have fallen prey to this practice of dumping e-waste, causing severe health problems in people of all age groups, including newborns.
- Studies have shown that Americans get a new cell phone every 12 to 18 months, but only 10 percent of cell phones are recycled in the United States. This is creating more and more electronic waste, and with the lack of responsible recycling, the environmental issues of e-waste are continually increasing. Cell phone batteries consist of Lithium, and the circuit boards in them consist of several toxic metals and chemicals. When burnt or dumped, all these are very hazardous to the environment.
- Guiyu, in China, is the largest e-waste disposal site in China and possibly the world. It receives shipments from all over the world. Many residents have started exhibiting substantial digestive, neurological, respiratory, and bone problems. It directly shows the hazardous impact e-waste has on our environment and consequently our health.
It is clear from the above-mentioned points that besides taking up unnecessary space in your garage or storeroom, your electronic junk has several other horrible effects on the environment. It is high time to ensure that our e-waste is disposed of responsibly. One of the easiest ways to do this is to give it to an R2 certified recycling facility.
GreenTek Reman is APAC’s first R2v3 Certified IT Asset Disposition & e-waste Management company with almost a decade of experience in the Reuse, Recycling, and Recovery of precious resources from electronic waste. With a decade of experience in the industry, GreenTek Reman is a trusted name in the field of e-waste management and ITAD (IT Asset Disposition) services.
We provide a host of services ranging from IT Asset Disposition (ITAD), Data Sanitization, Precious Metal Recovery (PMR), Solar Panel Recycling (SPR), and Product & Equipment Destruction (PED) services to our customers across the country. We are one of the most trusted organizations in India who are certified with the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and the Ministry of Environment Forests (MoEF), Government of India.