HOME >> How to Deal With Electronic Waste?

E-waste is the toxic legacy of our digital age. Many factors have resulted in the fast-growing surplus of electronic waste around the globe like rapid update of technology, falling price and serious damage of products itself. Some 41.5 million tons of electronic waste is generated in 2011, and that number is expected to rise to 93.5 million by 2016. USA is the world lead in producing electronic waste, tossing away 30 million computers each year. Europe is also a main region, littering 100 million phones every year. Besides large amounts of e-waste produced domestically, China remains a major e-waste dumping ground for developed countries.

e-waste recycling

Then what’s the fate of these electronic waste? The Environmental Protection Agency estimate that only 15-20% of e-waste is recycled, the rest of these electronics go directly into landfills and incinerators. In the United States, an estimated 70% of heavy metals in landfill comes from discarded electronics. Another problem is the waste stream from the developed countries to the developing countries. The fact is that it really brings some good to these countries. Repaired electronics give people access to low-cost electronics and enjoy the benefits of technology. At the same time, repair creates jobs for those skilled people. Reuse in developing countries is usually more effective than in the developed countries. On the other hand, those developing countries has the danger of being toxic dump yards of e-waste. The workers don’t now how toxic their job is. With lack of right protection and using simple tools, their health condition is bad. It is heart-breaking fact that those people in developing countries need to sacrifice their health to earn living.  

More importantly, the process of dismantling and disposing of electronic waste in the developing countries lead to a number of environmental impacts as illustrated in the graphic. Liquid and atmospheric releases end up in bodies of water, groundwater, soil and air and therefore in land and sea animal, in crop eaten by both animals and human, and in drinking water.We nee to do something to change this situation. How to safely and efficiently recycle useful materials from end-of-life electronics? A suggested preventative step involves the major electronics firms removing the worst chemicals in their products in order to make them safer and easier to recycle. This needs government’s regulations and associations’ supervision. Another is qualification examination. Take U.S. for example. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency encourages electronic recyclers to become certificated by demonstrating to an accredited, independent third party auditor that they meet specific standards to safely recycle and manager electronics. We also need safe processing technology and suitable machines. In many developed countries, electronic waste processing usually first involves using automated shredding equipment to dismantle the equipment into various parts. One example is cable recycling. By using copper cable granulator, the insulation and metal core are crushed, separated and recycled separately.

It is a common sense that recycling raw materials from end-of-life electronics is the most effective solution to the growing e-waste problem. But recycling them without harmful influence on human body and environment is of same importance. Let’s take action worldwide!






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