E-Waste is an informal name for electronic products nearing or at the end of their “useful life”. Common electronic products are televisions, computers, laptops, stereos, mobile phones, copiers and fax machines. Mostly e-waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices.
Computer equipment contributes to the rapidly expanding stream of UK waste. Computers comprises of monitors, hard drives, printers and circuit boards. Due to these containing toxic substances, they should never be thrown out with household rubbish. A single computer can contain up to 2kg of lead making them difficult to recycle.
A lot of e-waste ends up in the developing world causing a great deal of concern about the pollution caused by hazardous chemicals and heavy metals.
Here are a few cold hard facts about e-waste:
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that over 60 million metric tons of electronic waste enters various landfills each year with.
- 80% of electronic products are still going to landfills and incinerators which release certain toxics into the air.
- Agbogbloshie, a former suburb of Accra, Ghana, has become a dumping ground for electronic waste where traders from across Europe, the USA, China & India have been illegally sending tons of old electronics.
- Ghana imports around 215,000 tons of e-waste and generates another 129,000 tons and this import is expected to double by the year 2020.
- After the e-waste is dumped, useable metals are separated by hand by children as young as 7. The rest of the material is then set on fire.
Photo credit: Greenpeace
So what can YOU do to help? There are plenty of things to choose from to help protect people and protect the environment.
You can find your local recycling event – these are opportunities for residents to have a clear-out and make sure unwanted items are recycled, reused or disposed of responsibly. Such events are free.
If you are simply upgrading a gadget and the old one is in fairly good working order, you can offer the item for free on the freecycle website. Most people are willing to collect a free item.
For computer disposal, computer recycling, laptop recycling and more, you can give us a call. No collection is too big or too small and we collect for free within 24-72 hours.
Step by step, bit by bit, we can combat E-waste. Do your part today.
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