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why should we care about e waste

Every day, we use electronic devices, raising the question: why should we care about e-waste? Anyone who previously owned an electronic device knows they don’t last forever. Some people will use their devices for as long as they work, which could be only a few months, while others like to upgrade frequently. This behavior contributes significantly to e-waste, highlighting the importance of responsible disposal and recycling.

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We all upgrade our devices eventually. This leaves us with many unwanted devices that are no longer useful. Most people don’t know what to do with their old devices and believe they can be thrown out. However, it is more complicated.

Electronic waste

 Incorrect disposal is a significant problem in landfills worldwide. World Health Organization estimates that only 17.4% of the 53.6 million tonnes of electronic waste produced worldwide in 2019 was collected and recycled. This means that 44.3 million tonnes of potentially hazardous material was left here to harm the environment and humans.

Educating everyone about the dangers associated with e-waste and how it can be prevented is essential. Find out why you should be concerned about e-waste and what you can do to help save the environment.

E-Waste Produces Harmful Toxins

Indeed, they are safe if you use them all day. You can use your electronic devices and expose yourself to them as long as they are maintained. This is not the case with electronics that are disposed of in landfills.

Pollution of the soil and water

When electronics are disposed of improperly (illegally thrown away or placed in landfills), toxic substances can leak. Heavy metals such as lead and mercury can be found in eWaste. They can then leach into the soil. The toxins will spread and eventually infect crops, livestock, and other animals that eat them. We may unknowingly consume these toxins if we eat crops or livestock. If toxins are released into soil, they may also reach water bodies, causing them to be unsafe for many communities and harming their ecosystems.

Air Pollution

Many landfills also burn their waste, which hurts air quality. Burnt electronics release harmful toxins into the air and emit greenhouse gases. This can harm workers and communities nearby. These toxins can spread far and wide, not only affecting those living near landfills but also causing harm to the environment.

Electronics Waste Materials – How To Dispose of Them

Toxins from e-waste can have devastating effects. This significant issue should make everyone concerned about the growing e-waste problem, but it’s not the only one. Many of the materials and elements in your device can be reused even when it is no longer functional.

You can create new products without purchasing materials using precious metals such as gold, copper, and silver. These nonrenewable materials are finite and will eventually run out. It is a waste to let old electronics sit in landfills.

Recycling unwanted electronics and using the materials that we already have is a great way to save money. Creating new devices using recycled materials is easier since these materials can be easily sourced. You can reduce the need for new materials by recycling your old electronics. You can even find a project to help you recycle electronics or find a program in your area that reuses old electronics.

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E-Waste: Economic Aspects

E-waste has an economic impact that is as important as its environmental impact. Millions of tonnes of electronic waste are generated worldwide each year. This is a treasure trove of resources that’s being wasted.

A Potential Goldmine

We’ve already discussed why we should care about e-waste, especially considering how tossing out old electronics wastes valuable materials. However, we haven’t fully considered the potential profits and costs of recycling e-waste instead of throwing it away. Your old electronic devices may be worth more than you think. These discarded items contain precious metals such as gold, silver, and copper.

To put it in perspective, you can recover 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium by recycling one million cell phones. The opportunity cost of the 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste produced in 2019 is staggering. This e-waste that is not recycled has an estimated value of nearly $47 billion, underlining the importance of understanding and acting on the issue of e-waste.

why should we care about e waste

The Cost of Neglect

It’s essential to consider the financial consequences of not recycling electronic waste, which brings us to the question: why should we care about e-waste? The economic losses are more significant than the recoverable materials when these electronics are improperly disposed of.

Costs associated with the cleanup of toxic waste, medical care for those affected, and productivity losses due to illness all represent significant economic burdens stemming from e-waste. The economic impact is further increased by using new raw materials instead of recycling old ones, leading to higher mining costs and environmental degradation. This highlights the critical need to address the issue of e-waste responsibly.

Finding a responsible electronics recycler: Closing the loop

You should work with a recycling center for electronics to ensure that toxic substances such as e-waste are not dumped in landfills.

We at eCycle Florida know the importance of recycling technology in protecting our health and environment. That is why we are committed to offering businesses and organizations a safe and secure way to dispose of electronics. We can all do our part to reduce the amount of electronic waste worldwide.

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