E waste is piling up. According to a report by the Australia University, about 50 million metric tons of e waste are produced annually. That’s the equivalent weight of 18 Titanic and growing fast: The annual growth rate is 6 percent. E-waste contains toxic materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium that can leach into groundwater or find their way into landfills. If they’re not appropriately recycled first! E waste recycling Melbourne reduces the environmental impact associated with making new products, but many manufacturers aren’t doing enough to encourage consumers to recycle their old electronics. We must change this trend before it worsens; our planet depends on it!
What is e-waste?
Electronic waste (aka e-waste) is a broad term that encompasses all electronic products that have reached the end of their useful life and are no longer needed by their owners. E-waste includes computers, laptops, cell phones and tablets, televisions, and home appliances like refrigerators or microwaves. By volume of discarded material. E-waste makes up about 60% of all municipal solid waste generated globally. The United States alone dumps an estimated 2 million tons of e-waste annually.
E waste is piling up in the world.
With e waste piling up in the world, it’s time to consider recycling. The problem: e waste is a growing problem, both globally and locally. We produce over 35 million tons of e waste in the United States annually. This number is expected to increase as our population grows and technology becomes more advanced. Additionally, many countries face mounting environmental headaches from increased amounts of e waste dumped into landfills or even incinerated without proper precautions against pollution (notably China).
Alone, about $4 million worth of new products are sold each day across all retail channels. Including online sales — but less than half is adequately recycled by consumers who throw away their old phones instead of donating them through a program like Take My Mobile Phone Back or Hire a Hubby/Housewife/Whatever You like to Call It!
E waste contains toxic materials.
While e waste recycling is a great way to reduce the amount of electronic waste in landfills, it’s important to remember that e-waste contains toxic materials. The most common toxic materials found in electronics are:
- Lead, mercury, and other heavy metals.
- Flame retardants like polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).
- Brominated flame retardants.
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
- Polystyrene foam or Styrofoam.
Materials in e waste can be recovered and used again.
When it comes to e waste, there are several ways in which the materials that make up these products can be recovered and used again. It can take the form of recycling them into new products or even new materials that can be used to produce other goods. By recycling waste products and materials, we’re able to keep harmful chemicals out of our landfills and rivers while reducing our dependence on natural resources like fossil fuels.
A few examples
E waste can be recycled into new plastics. Plastic is one of the most commonly recycled materials. Because it’s durable enough to last through multiple uses before needing to be replaced or recycled again. However, it’s also one of the most accessible materials for manufacturers (and consumers) to overlook. When trying not only to reduce their consumption but also to improve their environmental footprint by investing responsibly in sustainable practices like those outlined above.
Recycling e-waste reduces the environmental impact associated with making new products.
It does this by reducing the need for new raw materials, manufacturing plants, transportation systems, and packaging. For example, when you buy a new computer, you might think it is developed from non-recycled plastic. In reality, many modern computers are developed from recycled plastic collected from old PCs or other discarded electronics such as cell phones or televisions. It means that less virgin material must be mined from the earth and fewer new factories have to build to produce these goods.
Manufacturers have a responsibility to help consumers recycle their old electronics.
The next big thing in e waste recycling Melbourne is that manufacturers take responsibility for their products and ensure they are recycled responsibly. It is essential when it comes to products designed to outlive their users, like smartphones and fitness trackers—these types of devices may be obsolete when their owners can no longer use them.
In today’s world
Many people don’t have a relationship with their local waste management company or know where to take old electronics for proper disposal. Making sure that e-waste doesn’t end up in landfill requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders: manufacturers need to do more than make eco-friendly products; retailers should offer easy ways for consumers to recycle their old stuff; government agencies need stronger regulations about what happens with our discarded electronics. We as consumers should educate ourselves about how best to dispose of our old gadgets responsibly so we can keep them out of landfills or worse.
It’s time to take e waste recycling seriously.
E-waste is piling up. According to the EPA, 41.8 million tons of e-waste were generated in 2016 alone—and that number continues to grow. E-waste contains harmful toxins that can leach into soil and water, and some studies have shown it may even link to cancer. Recycling reduces this environmental impact; according to the EPA, for every pound of electronics recycled responsibly, about 70% less energy is needed than if that same piece of technology was manufactured from raw materials.
Manufacturers are not helping consumers recycle their e-waste. Most models come with instructions on how to dispose of them properly (and often include recyclable parts). Still, they don’t offer any direction on how customers should go about doing so once they’ve reached the end of their life cycle—which means consumers might throw away their old devices rather than recycle them correctly!
It’s time to take e waste recycling seriously. While the materials in electronics can be recovered and reused, they’re also piling up in landfills and impacting our environment. Consumers need to know what they’re buying so that manufacturers can make better products that last longer. And manufacturers need to help consumers recycle their old electronics by making recycling programs more accessible and convenient than ever!