Amazon, the online retailer, hosted a unique event on November 15, showcasing the benefits of recycling e-waste in five U.S. cities as a practical Solution to E-Waste. The event invited residents to bring in their old and unwanted consumer electronics, ranging from cell phones to printers, faxes, and computer monitors. Recycling experts were also on hand to educate the public about how to properly dispose of e-waste, emphasizing recycling as a key Solution to E-Waste challenges.
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The event was held in Dallas and Denver as part of America Recycles Day. This is a national recycling initiative, part of Keep America Beautiful. Keep America Beautiful is an environmental organization which works to educate and inspire people to take actions aimed at improving their local environment and community.
Most Important Issues Surrounding E-Waste
The first is that the push to recycle used electronics has a strong environmental and health component. Keep America Beautiful and other environmental organizations work to promote recycling of electronics as an alternative to having them end up in landfills. They focus on the benefits that recycling e-waste can bring.
Majority Of E-Waste
Despite being a recyclable resource, a significant amount of e-waste is still sent to landfills and incinerated, particularly in developing countries. This practice poses serious threats to the environment and human health, highlighting the urgent need for a viable Solution to E-Waste.
A recycling event sponsored and organized by a major online retailer that also sells consumer electronics is another example. Consumers are equally eager to purchase the latest and most advanced electronic devices. Retailers also seem to be quick to sell them. Manufacturers are also being urged to make electronics that will last longer and not need to be replaced so often.
Amazon’s sponsorship of a recycling event is a clear indication that the option that seems most realistic and likely to succeed, which is to build electronics that last years without needing to be replaced by newer versions, or to take all used electronics to companies that specialize in recycling.
Why is E-Waste such a growing problem?
We’re having a hard time with e-waste because there is simply too much and it keeps increasing every year.
According to a report from the United Nations, the U.S. produces 14% of all electronic waste in the world. E-waste has become the fastest-growing part of municipal solid waste streams. In 2016, nearly 45 million tonnes of electronics were thrown out worldwide.
China, which was concerned about the impact of e-waste on its environment, banned 24 types of solid wastes, including eWaste, last year. This created significant challenges for countries such as the United States, Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom. China accepted 70 percent of all electronic waste until 2017.
As a result of this decision, Europe and North America began shipping e-waste into Southeast Asia. However, the ports in Vietnam & Thailand were overwhelmed by shipments and imposed their own curbs.
Electronic waste in the U.S.A. and Europe struggle to find a solution. This is a big challenge. In 2016, the population of the world disposed of 49 million tons worth of e-waste. If the current trend continues, this number will reach 60 million tons within the next few decades.
There’s no doubt as to why e-waste has exploded so rapidly: technology. The manufacturers are constantly coming up with new ways to make electronic devices more advanced, capable of doing more and make older models seem outdated. This means that the life expectancy of these devices is getting shorter.
Many of these devices have batteries that are not removable and eventually fail, forcing their owners to replace the entire device, as well as the batteries. Many electronics companies plan to obsolescence by incorporating outdated software and design into their products. They also discontinue support for older models. It can be cheaper to purchase a newer product than repair an old one.
Their sales continue to boom, especially in the current strong global economy. Worldwide, 5 billion mobile phones are owned by people. This is a staggering figure.
The answer to this issue is obvious for some environmental groups. To curb electronic waste, the only way to be sure is to extend the life of devices that are currently in use. Some state legislators are pushing Right to Repair laws, which require that batteries be removable so that older devices can be repaired.
Producing Less Is The Best Way To Reduce Pollution
Does anyone really expect that the electronics industry will suddenly produce devices that work perfectly for decades, given the huge profits they make when unveiling their latest models? What’s the point?
Amazon, a major online retailer of electronic products, seems to understand this. That’s why it has adopted a new approach to control e-waste.
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What are the benefits of recycling E-Waste and how does it help with the E-Waste problem?
Environmental problems caused by e-waste have become more severe each year. More than 4 million tonnes of e-waste are estimated to end up in landfills each year. They contain a large amount of toxic, non-biodegradable substances. Certain electronics contain mercury, lead, arsenic, barium and other toxic metals. These metals can leak out of landfills, contaminating the soil and water and posing a serious health risk to residents.
E-waste recycling eliminates these problems. Recycling has been proven to be a viable solution for e-waste.
If you want to do your part to help save the planet, make sure that all of the unwanted electronic devices in your possession are recycled by a reputable firm such as eCyle Florida and not thrown in the garbage or in the closet.
By throwing away old electronics, you are also wasting energy and resources. You can use these products to make new ones. This will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save on energy.
Silver, gold, aluminum, plastic, and copper are all materials in e-waste that still have value. This is a lot to have in one item. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency noted that circuit boards contain up to 800 times as much gold as one metric tonne of ore.
It’s important to note that manufacturers are facing a shortage of raw materials to manufacture these products as the demand for electronics has risen. Recycling materials has been the solution.
Recycling is an easy, smart solution to protect the environment. It also reduces the costs of manufacturing new products and allows the recycling industry to continue growing and creating jobs. In the U.S., the industry has created more than 450,000 jobs.
Can the government address this solution?
There are currently no federal laws that require recycling of electronic waste or prevent it from being disposed in landfills. The federal government continues deferring to the states
There are 28 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have laws on electronic recycling. These states take different approaches, such as subcontracting companies to run e-waste collections systems or requiring electronics manufacturers meet recycling targets.
Even so, the patchwork of laws that exist has not been strong enough to convince companies to adopt a new approach, such as designing more durable electronics.
Manufacturers could implement several changes to contribute to the Solution to E-Waste. For example, they could design electronic devices with fewer toxic substances. Some interesting developments in this area align with finding a Solution to E-Waste. Stanford University’s chemical engineers are working on biodegradable electronics circuits that use natural dyes. Additionally, Ronin8, an independent Canadian research company, is developing a technology that uses minimal energy and water to separate metals from non-metals using sonic vibrations, further advancing the Solution to E-Waste.
Research and Technology
Even though the trend is toward less toxic electronics, it doesn’t mean that the research and technology used to make new electronics will go back to making devices you can use for many years. Too many manufacturers are trying to find ways to make devices do things that we never imagined possible. It’s unlikely they will ever create devices you won’t need to replace for years. It’s unlikely that this will ever be a priority.
Amazon acknowledged this by highlighting recycling. This message should reach both consumers and business owners alike to let them know that recycling is the best way to prevent the exploding amount of electronic waste from causing environmental havoc at our landfills.
Laptops and smartphones have revolutionized the lives of millions around the world. The technology has opened up many new possibilities for us all.
Environmentalists have continued to emphasize the importance of raising awareness regarding the dangers posed by the increasing amount of electronic waste. Recycling e-waste will help us all to prevent harmful effects on our environment and health.
About eCycle Florida
eCycle Florida is a trusted expert in recycling and managing waste electronics and metals. eCycle Florida recycles the unwanted equipment in an environmentally responsible way. This family-owned business takes pride in being stewards of the environment.
eCycle Florida is a service that caters to both private and corporate customers.
eCycle Florida is an R2 Certified electronics recycling company in the state of Florida. Our processes and procedures are dedicated to the proper destruction and recycling of your electronics. eCycle Florida is your go-to when looking for an electronic recycling center in Florida. Check out the services in the multitude of industries that we offer:
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