While e-waste management may seem harmless at the surface level, it can be quite the opposite. Not only do some e-waste contain hazardous chemicals, but the amount of e-waste throughout the world is increasing exponentially every year. Both of these problems can have detrimental effects on human health and the environment. Read on to discover the consequences of improper e-waste disposal, what can be done to prevent them, and how Evreka’s state-of-the-art waste management solutions can help with the process.
Electronic waste — or informally called “e-waste” — is the umbrella term for any type of discarded electronic device. Examples of e-waste include: old and/or unusable computer monitors, phones, batteries, television remotes, microwaves, toasters. You can check out our eBook, Fundamentals of E-Waste Management & Recycling, to find out more.
As stated before, improper e-waste disposal can lead to serious problems. The ones we will be focusing on are environmental risks caused by hazardous chemicals and overconsumption.
Some e-waste contains harmful chemicals such as:
If these chemicals get mixed with other wastes in a garbage truck or landfill, they may contaminate them and the soil, and thus pollute the environment. This in itself is awful, but what is worse is that when other, recyclable wastes get contaminated, they can no longer be recycled.
Globally, we produce, on average, 50 million tonnes of e-waste annually. This number is expected to rise to 52.2 million tonnes by 2021, and 74.7 million tonnes by 2030 with an expectation of 9kg of e-waste per person.
These are horrific numbers. What’s more, Aaron Blum, the co-founder and chief operating officer of the recycling giant ERI, told TIME Magazine that the popularization of 5G “will result in a dramatic increase in e-waste, as millions of smartphones, modems and other gadgets incompatible with 5G networks are made obsolete.” This only means there will be more e-wastes dumped in landfills in the future.
For the general population, in addition to separating e-wastes from regular wastes, the answer for this question lies in the 3R method:
As for waste management or recycling companies, the most important aspect of e-waste collection or e-waste recycling is to make sure to keep e-wastes separated from other wastes.
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