In previous centuries, most waste our industry created was easily decomposable and non-polluting, which means that businesses weren’t compelled to invest much thought into it. Furthermore, environmental-awareness still wasn’t a thing, therefore even those elements which are potentially hazardous were often regarded as harmless. Today, things have changed. These days we know just how harmful e-waste can actually be, which makes it a duty of every business, organization or individual to discard them in the safest way possible. Here are a few facts, statistics and solutions on this topic that you should be aware of.
There is a statistic that today, nearly two-thirds of humanity have cellphones (4.77 billion users according to Statista). If you look at it as an indicator of progress, these numbers seem quite optimistic, but when you add a fact that only 13 percent of all electronic waste is disposed of properly, you get a completely different picture. This means that, in the US alone, over 100 million phones end up in trash cans each year. Those who believe this number is unrealistic need to keep in mind that an average mobile user gets a new device each 18 months. It is quite easy to assume that most of these people as unaware or unconcerned with eco-friendly protocols in electronic waste disposal.
The worst part is that phones are not the only problem. Over 112,000 computers get discarded on a daily basis. That’s roughly 40 million devices per year. Same goes for 20 million TVs. The list goes on. Even without any further clarification or analysis, it becomes clear just how serious of a problem this can become.
How Dangerous Is This?
The greatest problem with electronic waste is not just in the fact that there is so much of it but in its nature as well. You see, electronic waste usually contains chemicals like mercury (which poses a major health hazard for humans and wildlife alike), cadmium (which is a known carcinogen) and even beryllium which is one of the most toxic elements in existence. Overall, it is more than clear just how serious it would be for these materials to get in touch with our earth, soil and water and how easily could such a misconduct backfire.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Just because a device is no longer good for you, it doesn’t necessarily make it completely useless. Humanitarian organizations like World Computer Exchange can gift your old computer to an educational institution. This way, not only can you rest assured that your e-waste isn’t adding to your carbon footprint, but also benefit from the knowledge that you’ve helped someone in need. If, for example, you’re from NSW and are still on the lookout for the right organization to donate to, you can always opt for mobile storage in Sydney as a temporary solution to your problem.
Find a Reliable e-Recycler
In the end, if you are 100 percent sure that your old piece of tech can’t be reused or repurposed, you need to find the optimal way to recycle it. This is more difficult than you may think for two reasons. First, you need to find someone close to where you are, since even with the best of intentions, you won’t be able to send your waste across the globe in order to get rid of it in an eco-friendly manner. Second, you need to find someone certified. What good is it to give your e-waste to someone else if you can’t guarantee they won’t just throw it away somewhere later on. It wouldn’t hurt if you were to learn a thing or two about the landscape of e-waste recycling, as well as some e waste programs and certificates.
We can no longer turn a blind eye to the fact that e-waste is a real problem, one of the greatest of our lifetime. It is also the time to act upon this knowledge. The age of great government initiatives and movements is long past and now it is up to individual effort to make the difference. This means that every man, woman and child must find a way to carry their own weight. Same goes for startups, SMBs and major conglomerates. As Gandhi once said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
Article written by:
- Stacey Cooper: Stacey Cooper is a freelance blogger, a journalist and a media manager . Through her work she tries to connect her different interests- passion for writing and interesting business tips , with just right dose of humor. Highly creative and enthusiastic individual interested in new business strategies , marketing and entrepreneurship.