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Household E-Waste Management Tips

July 6th, 2012 · No Comments

This article will guide you about some of the best household E-waste management tips.

Living without electronic products and gadgets has become quite impossible, and with the growing number of products and the demand for them, the amount of waste produced is growing tremendously, endangering our precious ecosystem. The innovations in technology and the increasing number of gadgets and home entertainment goods have allured individuals into buying new products all the time. As a result, the lifespan of these products have decreased, causing more and more electronic waste to accumulate.

E-wastes are dangerous as they contain potentially unsafe substances such as cadmium, lead and mercury in addition to toxic metals and materials, acids, plastics etc. However, majority of the Indian households are unaware of the mechanisms to safely dispose e-wastes. Manufacturers are assigned to educate consumers about the hazardous substances in each product. Consumers must also be given instructions on how to handle the products and provide booklets that mention why you must refrain from disposing e-waste in bins.

E-Waste Management through Recycling

E-cycling is one of the best methods of eliminating the e-waste and preserving environment at the same time. Anything from television, mobile phones, computers, printer, scanners, tablets, refrigerators, microwave oven, washing machines etc can be recycled. The dumped products are collected and the useful components and parts are gathered to use as refurbished goods. Though such options are prominent in our society, people are unwilling to do so thinking of the efforts behind recycling.

In developed countries, various companies operate online to ease the task of individuals in recycling household goods and electronic products such as mobile phones. Such companies host websites for you to submit information about the make and condition of your mobile phone. Upon doing so, the company sends a postage paid box for the customer to return the phone and its charger.

Once the company receives the phone and upon verifying its condition, the customer receives a check depending upon the physical condition of the phone. Doing so, you earn money, so do the companies by refurbishing such phones and trading them in developing and economic countries. Similar is the case with disposing your goods such as television and refrigerator. You could register your product in websites that specialize in selling old consumer durable goods.

Lead is a chemical substance found in electronic products that causes hazardous effects to the environment. Many of the consumer goods and electronic items contain non-renewable resources such as zinc, copper, tin etc that cannot be destroyed, even when you dump into the landfills. Moerover, tossing e-waste in the garbage and landfills pollute groundwater posing a threat to both humans and animals. Such products also contain rare metals that are normally mined out after disposing. Recycling such goods eliminates the costs involved in mining such metals, thereby controlling soil and water pollution.

Controversies

However, there have been allegations that companies specialized in buying old electronic goods for recycling, sell those to developing countries, without bothering to refurbish the goods or recycle them. Though the United States government has imposed legal provisions against dumping such e-waste into landfills, the practice of recycling is not very common as in the European Union where manufacturers are entitled the responsibility of recycling their products, and are banned from exporting products that are meant to be recycled.

The law applicable in most countries entitles the manufactures to collect and recycle their goods charging no cost from the customers. The trend, started by Dell way back in 2006, inspired a whole lot of manufacturers to encourage their customers in sending their products for recycling.

Recycling of cars is also under consideration in the United States. Tests are being carried out for this initiative and upon being successful the various parts of the cars that are worth refurbishing will be used again. The intricacies involved in recycling these goods have forced many recycling facilities in the United States to export or ship the e-waste to economic and developing countries. In such countries, the products are stripped out to find useful components and the rest of the product is burnt, thereby creating toxic fumes that pollute the environment.

Set Examples

Instead of easing their tasks and disposing off the goods in landfills or through exporting, every country must follow the model set by the European Union. Furthermore, certain manufacturers are against the idea of recycling as they believe, the venture restricts their plans of making innovations in technology or a product, making people stick to their old goods. Understand that, e-waste management is not that easy as it sounds. None of these initiatives will be successful, if the customers are not ready to recycle their goods.

Tags: Recycling