Currently, the amount of waste generated by humans is unsustainable. For example, did you know that 100,000 sea creatures die each year because plastic waste entangled them? Unfortunately, society is exacerbating this problem instead of solving it. More specifically, electronic waste is now a major issue because people do not know what to do with their old TVs, laptops, personal computers, tablets, and game consoles. Sadly, most people discard their old gadgets as soon as a new version of it hits the market.
What Is The Importance Of Recycling Electronic Waste?
Protecting You and Your Community
The World Health Organization claims that e-Waste poses a severe risk to children when they come in direct contact with it. For example, kids can touch toxic substances that are present in this waste including lead, chromium, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls, or brominated flame-retardants.
People around these dumping zones may also inhale toxic fumes emitted by this waste. Additionally, some of these poisonous substances find their way into water systems compromising the health of the communities that depend on that water system. Eventually, serious diseases emerge among those living next to these water systems.
You should also note that dumping zones for electronic waste take up a lot of space. In 2000, landfills in the US catered to more than 4.6 million tons of e-Waste. This kind of space would be ideal for building a stadium, school, or a hospital. However, that is only possible if you recycle your electronic waste.
Helping Others and Creating Jobs
Give your old electronics to someone who needs it. For example, you may have a little brother or sister who needs a computer. You may also have a nephew, cousin, distant relative, or a neighbor who wants it. Moreover, charities are always asking for donations especially when it comes to electronic gadgets.
Recycling your e-Waste helps other people by creating employment opportunities for them. Remember, someone has to look for usable materials within the waste. Then another person has to extract these materials. Finally, someone has to assemble them into a new product. That means recycling e-Waste generates employment for many people so why not do it.
Encouraging Electronic Manufacturers to Invest in Eco-Friendly Products
In 2016, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer had 392,305 employees. In 2012, the same company operated eight factories in China alone. These resources would be instrumental in other sectors of the economy. For example, investing in research and development would be an excellent choice. Another good idea is diversifying its portfolio by launching new products. Therefore, recycling electronic waste encourages companies to think outside the box. These firms will adjust to ongoing market trends. That means they will build more recycling facilities than they have now. Additionally, their investments in eco-friendly products will rise.
Reducing the Physical Handling of Electronic Waste in Third World Countries
China banned the importation of electronic waste in 2002. Unfortunately, that government directive bore little fruit because 70% of the world’s e-Waste ends up in China. This waste affects the local communities negatively. For example, consider the communities that live in Guiyu, China. Here, you will find the world’s largest electronic waste dumpsite. The people who work have high levels of dioxin and lead in their blood. Lead stunts growth in babies and adolescents. Dioxin causes developmental and reproductive problems. Recycling electronic waste within the boundaries of this country reduces the volume of e-Waste that goes to such developing nations. Consequently, the reduced handling of electronic waste means that fewer and fewer people will get sick because of e-Waste.
Recycling Help Build a Just and Moral World
Computers consume an enormous amount of minerals. For example, a bit of gold is always necessary for pin plating. Copper is useful as a conductor in these gadgets, and hard disks cannot function without several metals i.e. zinc, magnesium, and aluminum. Moreover, the hard drive requires other minerals such as cobalt, iron, and nickel.
Do you know the source of these substances? In truth, most of the minerals used in building these devices come from third world countries. For example, did you know that the Democratic Republic of Congo produces 60% of the world’s cobalt? Unfortunately, it is an impoverished and war-torn country. Recycling electronic waste reduces the flow of capital into the hands of dictators who exploit their country’s resources for personal gain.