Tuesday 2 August 2016

Erase E-waste

Posted by at 8:00 AM

Give new life to your used devices; it’s the smart way to save the planet.

When your electronic products are nearing the end of their lives, what do you do with them? Do you throw them away or do you try and recycle them or have them refurbished? Unfortunately, the majority of technological devices end up in landfills while a smaller amount is recycled. When in reality, it should be the other way around.

E-waste, or electronic waste, includes computers, printers, scanners, phones, laptops, VCRs, power cords and more. When these end up in landfills, not only do they cause the landfills to fill up, but large amounts of toxic chemicals are release into the environment. This is hazardous to humans as well as the environment.

Take computers for example. They contain toxic materials that, when released into the environment, can wreak havoc. Some of those materials are listed below.

  • mercury has been linked to brain damage
  • lead can damage the nervous system
  • poly-vinyl chloride, or PVC, produces fatal fumes when incinerated
  • brominated flame-retardants can cause neurotoxic effects
  • cadmium can accumulate in the kidneys

Think before you get rid of your computer and iPhone. Ask yourself what else you could do with it. Can it be repurposed in any way? Here are some things to consider:

  • Assess the equipment to see if it still works
  • Donate it to a school or non-profit organization that can use it
  • Repair it or use the parts to repair something else
  • Donate it to a local charity
  • Finder a larger, nonprofit organization that specializes in donating computers to those in need

Take precautions when it comes to getting rid of our old technology. And, always be sure to erase any data on your device before recycling it.