Any discarded gadget or device with a plug or a battery is known as Electronic waste or e-waste.
This type of waste has become the world’s fastest and most dangerous type of waste stream. The ongoing developments in information technology keep on introducing something new. Thus, to stay up-to-date, people intend to upgrade their existing technology — a phone, tablet, or computer sooner than later.
The question to ponder upon is, where do all of the old electronic items go? If not disposed of properly, redundant electronics go straight to the environment like any other common waste. However, the danger that e-waste causes to the environment is far more than the general waste.
Here are some facts about e-waste environmental impact.
Dangers of E-waste to the Environment
It Contaminates the Atmosphere
Some materials used in the composition of electronic devices — such as Lead, Mercury, Lithium, and Nickel are highly hazardous. When e-waste is disposed of carelessly, it contaminates air, water, and soil — ultimately causing severe health issues for all living beings.
Electronic waste is not biodegradable, and that is why this is considered the most dangerous waste of all.
Furthemore, the methods used to recover valuable materials from the e-waste — such as open-air burning and acid baths also release toxic fumes and materials into the environment and pollute the overall atmosphere. The poisonous materials either come in direct contact with the living things or get inside the body through air and food. Dumping of electronic scrap also forms landfills which not only cover space but also spread pollution into the surrounding areas.
How Does Recycling Help the Environment?
It Preserves Natural Resources, Energy, and Cost
Electronic materials contain a specific ratio of minerals and metallic elements that are mined while consuming a lot of energy, effort, and money. Therefore, natural resources are decreasing as fast as the production of electronic devices is increasing.
Therefore, instead of making discarded electronics the environment waste, choose recycling. A report reveals that 98% of constituents of an electronic device are recyclable. Some components — such as wires that contain aluminium and copper, can be reused multiple times. Additionally, mining and refining the metals also costs. Thus, reusing them into other materials not only will preserve natural resources but the environment.
Prevent Landfill Formation
Recycling environment e- waste has dual benefits — saving space that landfills cover and protecting the environment against unhealthy elements.
The electronic waste disposed of into the environment results in the formation of landfills. The constituents of e-waste like gold, and aluminium, when exposed to the open air, start eroding and release toxins into the soil.
These pollutants kill other living organisms such as plants and microbes — ultimately disturbing the entire ecosystem. As the micro-organisms die, the decomposition of soil and other litter stops. Hence the environment becomes more and more polluted.
The effects of e-waste on the environment become more prevalent when the toxins from the soil seep into the water and air, ultimately making the atmosphere highly vulnerable for humans and other living beings.
Electronic Recycling Controls Air Pollution
Electronic recycling helps reduce air pollution in different ways. When air passes through the e-waste landfills, it gets contaminated, and thus it makes everything polluted that comes in contact. As recycling scales down landfill formation, it has the knock-on effect of decreasing the environmental pollution.
Making new electronic equipment leads to the mining of metals and other components which also results in air contamination. For instance – to extract a metal from the rock, it is blasted with the particles of dust and rock spreading into the air and making it unhealthy to the environment.
However, metals extracted from electronic waste don’t require to be processed in detail to make them reusable.
Along with promoting recycling, we also need to encourage the use of recyclable materials for the composition of electronic devices. This way, not only can we save on energy and natural resources but reduce the impact of e-waste on the environment.
All this is why using an established and respected form like ICT Reverse to make sure your old IT assets are reused and recycled wherever possible makes all the difference to the environment.
Our skilled and experienced Account Managers can give you all the latest advice on how you can dispose of your old IT in the most sustainable and ethical way for the environment.
For full details please call us on 01524 580900.