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How e-waste recycling can be a source of income for countries

April 15th, 2013 · No Comments

In this article we will tell you how e-waste recycling can be a source of income for countries. Here’s the details.

The latest threat for the society is electronic waste. Recycling of e-waste may have tremendous scope especially as it may be the resource of costly metals. But since the manpower is cheap in developing countries like India and Brazil, China, these e-wastes are being sent to these countries. Additionally the environmental laws are not so rigid in these countries and; therefore, e-waste recycling is not an enormous deal.

In Developing Countries

In these developing countries,  these costly metals like copper, platinum, gold and silver are extracted from the circuit boards by the methods that are not good for the workers. Although, this practice must not be curbed, but in the end operators earns a decent payment.

In such a criteria what is proposed is that the non-formal operators must collect disassemble and segregate e-waste, whereas the formal operators must deal with the precious metals being extracted. It is fascinating to note that 90-95% of the e-waste contains heavy metals. Costly metals and plastic are segregated by human beings by not posing a threat to their health. The rest 3-5% needs proper recycling properly and cannot be handled by the traditional techniques used in the municipal waste management programs.

e waste recycycling

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In the Developed Countries

Till sometime before the recycling business was considered to be a gainful business. The infrastructure and technology were totally in consonant with the handling of e-waste, and the precious metals were adequately extracted to turn them to better yields. But the current scenario is such that the profit margins are diminishing because of health hazards of workers and thus the work is getting transported to the manpower in developing countries like Brazil, China and India.

How Recycling is done to Earn Money

Step One

In this step, the raw materials are collected, disassembled and segregated. Various sources contribute to the collection of the e-wastes like home, industries and offices. Manually the components are segregated like glass, metal, screws and connectors. Heat sinks, plastic, fans, batteries transformers are all individually collected since they are rich sources of copper, gold, silver, palladium, tantalum and so on.

Step Two

Here, process of shredding, breaking and pulverizing are done. The process is actually making a combination of different materials. Then the process of pulverization is carried out to segregate various metals in the mixture and the plastic of the circuit boards.

Step Three

Valuation of the metal content is the third step that is followed. And since the powder rich in metals is already with the collector; he/she may be paid the right price after the analysis of the assay reporters. Do not worry; the whole process is highly transparent and acceptable.

Step Four

The extraction of the metals is the next process, and this is done by authorized smelters who have bought the pulverized powder from the collectors. They have sufficient knowledge of the heavy metals, and usually they segregate into powders like-copper rich, lead rich, aluminum rich and iron rich particles.

The non-formal laborers will recover plastic and glass- like plastic in casing, bobbins, and metals in batteries, modules and sell to different smelters. The laborers may also get some money from selling them to the unauthorized collectors or authorized recyclers.

Other Money Making Options

Apart from the e-waste recycling process, people sell their electronic goods to manufacturer’s or retailers location. Companies like HCL, HP offer a gift card or cash reward for selling used equipment through trade-in programs. So, people in both developed and developing nations can earn revenue by selling e-waste to  manufacturers trade-in programs.

Tags: Recycling