Some Notes on Recycling E-Waste

Electronic devices deteriorate and sustain damage over time. But instead of disposing them right into the bin, it’s highly recommended torepair, reuse, or recycle them. Read on to learn more about how to do the latter:

What’s E-Waste?

E-waste is a broad term used to describe electronic devices that have been thrown away. They range from kitchen appliances to handheld gadgets.The world produces millions of tons of e-waste every year, and the majority of this is sent to landfills and left to contribute to pollution. The sad reality is that almost 100% of e-waste is recyclable, but only a small portion is reused or repurposed.

Why Is Recycling Important?

Allelectronic devices contain at least a gram of lead, zinc, chromium, cadmium, and other toxic elements. But since e-waste piles up in tons, these small amounts accumulate and become hazardousnot only to the environment but also to human health. Conservation of precious metals is also threatened since e-waste contains rare metals,like gold in circuit boards and silver in electrical contacts.

How Is Recycling Done?

Because most electronic devices are made of different materials, recycling them can be challenging. The first step isgathering the e-waste. Different communities and cities have many ways of doing this. Some put up bins where people can put old gadgets and appliances, while othersgo door-to-door to collect them from homes.

Upon collection, the itemsare sorted by special machinery. Some shops use a powerful magnet to segregate steel and iron components from the glass and plastic parts. Afterward, they’re shredded into smaller pieces for easier processing.

Glass and plastic can be reused, while conductors can be repurposed as electrical contacts for new gadgets or machines. Batteriestake a more complicated route since they contain toxic materials: the nickel, cadmium, and zinc components are carefully segregated to mitigate environmental hazards.

What’s in It for You and Future Generations?

Bring your old phones, laptops, and kitchen appliances to e-waste recycling centers near you. Many shops pay people who can bring large amounts of scrap materials, especially if the components contain precious metals. But apart from the monetary reward, salvaging these items can be a great help to the environment.

Recycling electronic devices, along with the gold, copper, and silver electrical contacts present in them, conserves natural resources for the next generations. Participating in these efforts leads to a brighter future not only for you, but for your future sons, daughters, and grandkids, too!

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