Aside from the obvious security issues associated with simply throwing your e-waste into the bin, there are also major environmental impacts too. Almost all electronics are filled with chemicals like lithium that are highly toxic and will leak into the environment over time.
On top of the chemicals, most electronics are also made with plastic or have a number of plastic components that will never break down in typical landfill. That alone should be a major driver for you to recycle your e-waste.
We’ll take a look below at the types of e-waste you’ll find in your home, what chemicals you might find hiding inside and how to correctly dispose of these items without causing any harm to your local environment or adding to landfill.
Rapid Growth of E-waste
On a global scale, the challenges that come from the improper disposal of e-waste are some of the most difficult to solve. As consumers purchase more electronics than ever before governments and councils are finding it harder to keep all of these devices out of landfill and into the hands of recyclers.
When you pair society’s addiction to electronics with the fact that our devices have a lifespan shorter than ever before, you have an e-waste epidemic. There are more than five devices sitting dormant in the average person’s home and that’s mainly down to consumers not knowing where they’re meant to put their old smartphones, tablets and computers.
Types of E-Waste
Thinking of e-waste might bring to mind a visual of a mountain of old beige computer monitors and keyboards from the 90s. While this was once a major e-waste catastrophe, there is now a new issue on the horizon – smartphones, smart devices and laptops.
As we move into the future, there are newer models of smartphones and smart devices popping up on what seems like a daily basis. This is driving an entirely new type of consumer. One that purchases updated devices immediately and throws older models out. Of course, this results in massive piles up rubbish for landfill and ultimately puts more chemicals and precious metals into the environment than ever before.
A few common items you might find around your house that can be classified as new types of e-waste include smart remotes, smart watches, smart meters as well as connected LEDs and more. Certain items you may not even know classify as e-waste and these include battery banks, wireless headphones, children’s toys and door locks.
Chemicals and Dangers
The chemicals and substances you’ll commonly find in electronics include lead, mercury, chromium and other heavy metals. Not only are these dangerous to the environments they’re discarded in, but they’re also poisonous to humans. This highlights the importance of having your electronics collected by recyclers rather than simply throwing it in the rubbish.
You may also find precious metals like copper and gold in the majority of electronics and that means these should also be recycled. Improper discarding of precious metals isn’t only bad for the environment, but wasteful.
Lastly, as certain types of e-waste hold the chemicals we’ve listed above, it’s imperative that you do not try to dismantle these devices on your own. Appliances like CFL bulbs and televisions can hold mercury within their circuit boards and that means fiddling with these devices can expose you to mercury, which can result in organ failure and illness.
If you want to do your part for the environment and have the assurance that your e-waste is going to be disposed of correctly, then reaching out to rubbish collection businesses like 1300 Rubbish is certainly a good idea.
These businesses will be able to come to your premises and take away anything from typical household or commercial waste, as well as e-waste and relay it to the correct processing facilities. That means all of your electronics will be dismantled and stripped of their dangerous components and recycled in a way that isn’t only compliant with recycling standards, but also great for the environment.
Finally, recycling facilities follow protocols that ensure dangers found in e-waste are neutralised and prevent any poisons entering the environment and stop all plastics and non-non-biodegradable items heading for the landfill.