The Impact Of Electronic Waste
In the US, the number of tons of electronic waste has more than doubled in the last five years. The problem is not going away any time soon, given the fact that most people only think about it when their computers or laptops start making noises or suddenly slowing down to the point that you have to slam them shut, stop using them altogether or take them to a specialist service. So what is behind the growing problem? What is the impact of electronic waste on the environment?
Electronic waste refers to all the unwanted or unused electronic devices and parts that end up in landfills every day. The common components include computer monitors, mobile phones, cameras, printers, faxes and all manner of digital media. These are items that are bought with a view to being used again. What happens, however, is that as these items are used, they tend to break down and create a by-product, which is what we know as electronic waste. The by-products produced by electronic equipment are known as e-waste and can be harmful to the environment. E-waste also produces a considerable amount of pollution, mainly through the construction of electronics components and the disposal of e-waste.
There are two major ways in which electronic waste can impact the environment. One is through the disposal of e-waste, which is generally handled in one of two ways. In the first instance, materials such as plastic are melted down and recycled to make new equipment. The second method is that the material is taken from the raw materials and used immediately. In either case, the electronic waste created can have severe consequences.
Plastic and electronics products generally break down into smaller pieces as they go into the landfill. This means that over time, the amount of plastic and electronics waste will increase. As well as this, once electronics and plastic have been put into a landfill, there is no way to control what else will fill the spot. This means that in a few decades’ time, there could be twice as much electronics and plastic in the landfill as there is today. This is a major environmental issue and one that is likely to affect us all in the future.
Another way in which e-waste impacts the environment is through the effect it has on the soil. When plastic and electronics are discarded or are broken down into pieces, they often escape into the soil, polluting it and wearing away at its composition. In some cases, this may seep into drinking water or even the air, causing serious damage.
There are other ways in which e-waste can affect us, however. For example, as electronic waste breaks down, its components can Leach dangerous chemicals into the soil. These chemicals can be passed onto crops and into the environment. They can find their way into drinking water, potentially poisoning people and animals. As well, they can find their way into the air, entering our lungs and doing us harm. The impact of electronic waste on the world surrounding us should be no laughing matter, and we must all do what we can to put a stop to it. Contact us today to dispose of all of your electronic waste.