“Electronic waste” may be defined as discarded computers, office electronic equipment, entertainment devices, mobile phones, televisions and refrigerators. This also includes electronic goods that are destined to be reused and recycled, either by replacing faulty parts or by extracting useful materials for the production of other goods.
Every year, more and more electronic waste is generated. This is due to increasing electronic productions and disposal of older either obsolete, or faulty devices. Here are some facts about the current wastage taking place in the field of electronics.
- Electronic waste represents just 2% of Americas’ trash in landfills, but it equals to 70% of the overall toxic waste.
- 50 million metric tons of electronic waste is disposed worldwide every year.
- Cell phones and other electronic items contain large amounts of gold and silver in them. Americans dump electronics containing $20 million worth of gold and silver every year.
- From every million cell phones recycled, 35,274 lbs of copper, 77 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold and 33 lbs of palladium can be recovered.
- Most of the stuff that is called ‘E-waste’ is not waste at all. It is just a collection of electronic equipments that has some faulty part.
- Some of the items that are considered to be hazardous are CRT, LCD and Plasma TVs and Monitors, DVD and CD players and every item containing an LCD display.
Most of the worlds’ e-waste ends up in developing countries in Africa and south Asia and those countries are becoming a dumpster for the world’s toxic e-wastes.
People buy the latest gadgets every year and dispose off their existing ones. But what they forget is that what they were currently using could further be used. Electronic waste is just a consequence of humans’ greed to own the best and latest instead of sticking to what they already have and what can perform enough to fulfill their daily needs.
There are ways to reduce electronic wastage. Some of them include buying refurbished devices, using functional parts of the older devices to manufacture new ones, and quite simply, not throwing away any existing gadgets.
There are many firms around the world which aim at selling refurbished goods which are just as good as new ones but at a much lower price. Most of the times though, people do not buy refurbished goods as they shy away from the idea of using gadgets already used. What they miss out is that most of the times the refurbished goods are not even used by anyone, and that they could have saved an awful lot of money by choosing refurbished goods, and in turn, reduce the world’s E-wastage.