Can electronic waste be re-used?
When thinking about the disposal of electronic waste, you may be wondering what to do with it.
In this article we tackle whether electronic waste can be reused, and what to do with it when it cannot be salvaged.
What is e-waste?
E-waste or (electronic waste) basically refers to any old or broken electrical item with a plug, but also expands to mobile phones, tablets and other portable devices such as wearable fitness trackers. No doubt most of us have an old mobile phone lying around that is redundant, often after only 2 years of use. Once these items have come to the end of their life considering the disposal of electronic waste, how we do this in a way that minimises dumping in landfill?
Dumping electronic waste has severe impacts on the environment
If electrical items are dumped in landfill with our general waste the components including chemicals and metals can severely impact the soil. Toxins are gradually released and seep into the ground, finding their way into the water supply and ultimately our food chain. These metals and chemicals do not biodegrade but stay in the ground for years. They are carcinogenic and heavy metals can cause the death of plants and poisoning to both animals and humans. Land and sea life is affected for years to come.
Damage to atmosphere
Improper disposal of electronic waste can result in tiny particles being released and contribute to the risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. The burning of computers containing plastic and metals emits cancer-causing chemicals to be released into the air we breathe, causing serious diseases such as lung cancer.
How to cut down on e-waste
Manufacturers of electronics now have a duty to cut down on the amount of e-waste that is produced. Companies such as Apple and Samsung have previously come under fire for updating software that cannot be supported on older machines or models, rendering older models useless and forcing consumers to purchase the latest devices.
As a consumer we can ask ourselves if our devices could be repaired before rushing out to buy the new model? If not, could the parts be dismantled and recycled? Do you need to buy new or can you update the software or parts such as batteries, hard drives or power cables?
Complying with regulations
With the advent of GDPR last year, stricter guidelines have been imposed on data compliance and how data is handled. With so much of our information stored on mobile devices such as phones or tablets as well as hardware and with storage in so many places, it can be hard to keep track of what has been disposed of and how. The only way of ensuring a device has been securely disposed of is to wipe the hard drive and shred complying with e-waste regulations. A professional shredding company is the only option to give you peace of mind that the hardware has been fully destroyed.
If you have e-waste that is redundant or broken beyond repair, then contact the specialists at The Shredding Alliance for a quote for removal, shredding, recycling and correct disposal of electronic waste.