Raising Awareness About Electronic Wastes
Technology has become so widespread today, it’s become an irreplaceable part of our society. For many decades now, our world has been unfortunately fostering a culture of consumerism, innovation and “instant gratification”. So, there has been an exponential growth in the number of electronics i.e., computers, phones, television sets and so many more.
Although electronics have been supporting us in many ways for decades, there has been a growing problem too. Along with the proliferation of everyday electronics, there has been immense quantities of wastes produced. According to a report by the United Nations University, e wastes have been accumulating at a very alarming pace: It’s considered as the fastest growing stream of wastes in the world today.
With the relentlessly growing e wastes in our global society, there is a very urgent need to better treat and discard e wastes. To protect public health and the environment, we need environmentally friendly ways to discard e wastes. So, let’s dive deeper into this topic.
Traditional Ways to Treat E Wastes
By the very nature of electronic products, there are many diverse components here like lead, mercury, cadmium, silicon, gold, aluminium and so on. But unfortunately, the vast majority of e wastes today is processed at landfills or incinerators, in a very hazardous, damaging and wasteful way. As they are treated here, many toxic chemicals are released into the environment. This is a grave danger to the people working at these facilities as well as the environment’s soil, plant life, aquatic life and more.
In addition, there is also a small but safer approach to treating e wastes today. Some companies, government bodies, non-profit organizations and small shops invite e wastes to disassemble their components, salvage valuable parts, safely throw away harmful materials and generally encourage the recycling of e wastes.
Encouraging Environmentally Friendly Ways to Treat E Wastes
Considering just how immensely we have come to depend on electronics in our lives today, treating e wastes in the proper way is our responsibility. Because of the hazardous nature of electronics, e wastes aren’t suitable for waste bins at our homes or our neighbourhoods. Further, we can’t store in our garages, lockers, store rooms and so on for a long time, because the value ofelectronics reduces very quickly with time.
Here are some of the best ways we can throw away our e wastes:
- Donate: We can give away much of electronics to other people, even sometimes within our own family and friend circles. But it can be challenging to reach out to new people. Here, we can search for an organization distributing electronics to people in need and charities, often with a non-profit approach.
- Contact an Independent Company: Search for a local electronics recycling company. They may often be a very small shop, because the profession is still largely in its infancy today. You can also contact your electronics store for guidance, because they are often familiar with independent recyclers in the nearby locality.
- Recycle with Manufacturers: Many manufacturers today are recognizing the growing problem of e wastes. So, they have started initiatives with their partners as well as customers to encourage recycling. We can thus contact such manufacturers for guidance. For instance, one of the most popular electronics brands today ‘HP’ has a popular computer recycling program available to all of its customers.
Imagining a Better Future
E wastes are accumulating immeasurably, alongside the widespread growth of electronics in our society today. But there are many ways to resolving this concern. In addition to the aforementioned ideas, certain technologies like cloud computing could provide valid answers.
By nurturing the growth of the electronics recycling industry, we can create thousands and thousands of meaningful job opportunities around the world. We could thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also recover many valuable materials from e wastes like silver, gold and copper.
So, by learning safe approaches, planning forward and acting now, we have a very big opportunity to help resolve the e waste problem. More importantly, treating e wastes in an environmentally friendly wayis a big step in the transition to a green and circular economy.