Electronics make our lives convenient. Whether communicating with our loved ones or shopping for products online, they help us feel like the world is at our fingertips.
But every electronic has a shelf life. Disposing of e-waste properly keeps our personal information safe and reduces hazardous waste harmful to our health and environment.
Keep reading to learn the importance of properly disposing of electronic waste.
What Is Considered E-waste?
E-waste is unwanted electronics or devices that reach the end of their lifecycle and are thrown into the trash. When not properly recycled or removed, e-waste emits harmful pollutants and becomes a major environmental issue.
The increasing e-waste is concerning, as humans currently dispose of more electronics than ever. A United Nations and World Health Organization-backed report found that only 17.4% of e-waste was recycled, while 82.6% wasn’t formally collected in an eco-friendly manner.
As consumer demands and technological trends rise, experts expect e-waste to grow. For example, phone and laptop companies release new products more frequently, contributing to e-waste. Toxic chemicals like manganese, chromium, lead, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers are released from e-waste, causing many health and environmental problems.
Why Is It Important To Dispose of E-waste Properly?
It’s crucial to minimize the environmental impact of e-waste by instead trying to refurbish, recycle, or reuse your electronics. As noted, e-waste significantly affects public health and the environment. We’ll cover the specific problems that e-waste can cause when it’s not disposed of properly.
When e-waste burns through the landfill process, toxic fumes and other harmful pollutants are released. Here are the hazardous materials found in e-waste that may negatively impact people, workers, and the environment:
- Leaded Glass: Found in many CRT TVs and monitors, leaded glass can damage a person’s kidneys, central nervous, and blood systems.
- Mercury: Mercury is commonly found in thermostats, fluorescent light bulbs, and batteries. You can also find mercury in relays, switches, and other components, with the potential to cause serious health side effects. High mercury exposure causes animal death, abnormal behavior, and reduced reproduction.
- Chromium: This hazardous material is often found in audio equipment, computers, and printers, along with being used in the production of circuit boards and batteries. Prolonged exposure can lead to damage to a human’s respiratory system, liver, and eyes, with the potential of receiving lung cancer.
- Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs): These materials don’t break down easily, and we commonly use them in many applications like wire insulation, automobiles, and plastics. They can cause harm to wildlife and ecosystems, damaging their reproductive systems and liver.
If you leave your electronics out in the trash, you never know who’s there to steal your personal information. Your electronics may contain crucial information like bank accounts, passwords, and other sensitive data.
This information falling into the wrong hands could mean potential identity theft. Disposing of your old devices and appliances ensures that your personal information is destroyed and can’t be accessed by unauthorized individuals.
First, you’ll want to back up the information in a separate device or cloud. Then, wipe the device completely. Don’t simply reformat or delete files since that isn’t enough to protect your identity.
Discarded Precious Metals
Electronics contain precious metals like silver, gold, and platinum. However, once they’re lost, they can’t be recovered.
Recycling your old electronic products through a certified e-waste recycling program ensures that the precious metals in those devices produce new equipment. Reusing valuable resources also limits the environmental impact of mining and manufacturing processes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Biggest Concern With E-waste?
E-waste negatively affects public health and the environment. It’s not bio-degradable, meaning toxic chemicals accumulate in the soil, water, and air. E-waste contains harmful pollutants like mercury, lead, and cadmium. Furthermore, when e-waste is incinerated, toxic fumes are released, which may cause respiratory issues.
How Does E-waste Contribute to Global Warming?
When e-waste ends up in landfills, it generates methane gas, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Furthermore, when burned, greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.
Get Rid of E-Waste Responsibly — Call Us
The next time you consider dumping your electronics, big or small, consider all the negative side effects. Whether you’ve got an old TV,treadmill, washer machine, refrigerator, or home appliance, properly dispose of them. This prevents further damage to our ecosystem, wildlife, and public health.
However, disposing of the e-waste yourself can be a hassle since you’d have to transport the electronics to a specialized e-waste recycling facility. Fortunately, the team at Nixxit can help. Our team does all the heavy lifting for you. Just schedule a pickup, and we’ll dispose of and recycle your e-waste ethically. Call us today to schedule your appointment and enjoy your decluttered space.
Need Help with Electronics Removal in the Bay Area, CA?
Nixxit Junk Removal can help with your electronics removal needs in the Bay Area.
- Fully Licensed and Insured
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Full-Service Removal and Sorting
- Donation and Recycling