How many times in life have you come across the dilemma of not knowing what to do with an old electronic item? Every time you buy a new and smarter phone or a latest television, the one you are replacing is sent to the landfill. Yes, you have the option to sell it but as we know, a very large chunk will end up in landfills anyway. According to a UN report, we are generating 80 billion pounds of e-waste every year.
There are many recycling options with other types of waste but we still have to explore ways to recycle or reuse it. E-waste includes old mobile phones, television sets, refrigerators, washing machines, stereos, CD players, computers, and other gadgets. They cannot decompose and some of them can release toxic elements like cadmium, lead, beryllium, polyvinyl chloride and mercury which can damage our eco-system and affect the health of the people who live close to areas where e-waste is disposed.
What makes the problem worse is that developed countries are exporting more and more e-waste to under developed nations where recycling can also be hazardous because they still use old methods.
Only thing that can prove to be beneficial is the old rule of reduce, reuse, recycle and resale by every individual. Let us discuss some ways by which we can achieve this objective:
- Before buying any new product make sure you look in the market for refurbished versions of that product. Refurbished articles are old products that are restored to work like new ones in appearance as well as in working.
- If you must buy a new product, try to contact the company of the previous one. You might be able to donate the product and they can reuse it for manufacturing newer products. Many companies today have green initiative and reusing is a part of it
- Try to look for components that when attached to the old item will make it work like a new one since usually the replacement of hardware can be the reason for the newer version of item.
- Many companies today offer greener options in electronics. Using them can help in preserving the environment.
- Reusing batteries is another good measure but you should know its type before recycling it. Laptop and mobile phone batteries may not be hazardous. On the other hand, batteries in automobiles and phones can prove to be hazardous and should be dealt with carefully. Either return them to the company or contact some local automobile support which can reuse them effectively
- Cell phone recycling is one of the biggest way with which we can help our environment by reducing greenhouse emissions.
- Make sure you look after your electronic item so they last long and do not buy a new product without giving proper consideration.
Companies that can help you in recycling
There are companies nowadays that are recycling e-waste. Few of them are Attero Recycling, Karma Recycling, e-WaRDD,WorldLoop and Sims recycling solution. Attero in India converts metals like platinum, selenium and gold into jewelry, metal plates and art. It also helps in refurbishing products thereby playing its part in e waste asset management. Companies like Google, DELL and Apple are promoting the recycling of e waste more than ever.
Every individual should take the above measures seriously, as the concept of e-waste touches every human being today. Electronic items are a part of our daily lives and their use and reuse is our responsibility. Next time you go in the market to buy a new product, make sure you remember these points and help your environment in the smallest way you can.