Electronics recycling is a global business that has seen a huge boom in the last decade whilst continuing to grow in both developed and developing countries. Over the next fifteen years it is estimated that the volume and weight of electronic equipment will double. So what is the most financially viable and environmentally efficient method for disposing of it?
Some items, such as mobile phones and computers, become obsolete at a very fast rate because of constant changes in technology. Rather than throw them out into the normal waste bin, many people are starting to see the benefits of recycling these items. A lot of these items can also be refurbished, thus making them useful to someone else. There is an old saying that one man’s waste is another man’s treasure.
Most households and offices will contain a large amount of obsolete electronic equipment. This can range from household appliances such as kettles and fridges, office equipment such as computers, to mobile phones, cameras and toys just to name a few. It’s amazing how much stuff can just build up, filling up cupboards and gathering dust in attics, and recycling it is a useful and environmentally way of disposing of it. Electronic items that are suitable for recycling are also known as e-waste, and basically consists of items that use batteries or can be plugged in.
Most towns and cities will have an electronics recycling plant which will take all unused or unwanted appliances and process them. As some items contain a lot personal information, many recycling centres offer guarantees that any data will be safely disposed of. Because of peoples security concerns, this is very important.
Another aspect of recycling is to consider donating appliances that still work but are not being used to charity shops, who will be able to sell them and make a profit for a good cause.
Electronics recycling is something that can only be done in a plant because there is some danger involved. Some products contain contaminants, such as mercury, that can can only be processed in a safe environment. This toxic waste can then be safely disposed of without posing a treat to the local environment. When this dangerous waste is dumped illegally or in local landfill sites it can cause serious damage, especially if it affects the local water supply. When electronics are disposed of in the local dump, they take up valuable space and can cause damage. When they are recycled or refurbished it is helping the environment.
Many electronics products also contain precious metals such as gold and silver, whilst others contain base metals such as lead and copper. Extracting this helps to generate business as well as create jobs.
Electronics recycling is a global business that’s going to continue to grow and grow as the world continues to realise that landfill space is not infinite. Recycling electronic products is an efficient way of reusing old resources, as well as generating jobs. It is a cost efficient and environmentally way of disposing of household and office appliances.