Waste disposal is an alarming concern around the world due to population increase and revolution in every professional industry. The carbon footprint needs to be controlled to prevent severe consequences to the environment, which directly affects the society. We need to consider the nature as one of our own and take care of it more than we take care of ourselves because a little adverse change in the environment can make our lives pretty miserable. Global warming, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and other environmental disasters are some examples that we should learn from!
E-waste or electronic waste is referred to the discarded electrical or electronic devices. It is one of the most hazardous waste because of the high concentration of heavy metals and toxic organic compounds. Some of the common e-waste materials are as follows:
- CPUs, computer wires, computer peripherals
- Television sets, transistors
- Electrical appliances like irons, mixer-grinders, wires
- Electronic storage devices
- Electronic products like refrigerators, washing machines
All About E-waste
It is no rocket science to understand why you should dispose of e-waste carefully, but to understand why it is an alarming concern and how beneficial it is to dispose of e-waste correctly, read the following:
The methods that any business practise to dispose of their waste speaks volumes about the objectives and goals of that business. If they are not following government rules and regulations for e-waste disposal, their government can shut off, or levy a hefty fine on the business or the media can share negative reviews about the business, which will affect the sales and reputation of the business significantly. If the company’s aim does not require them to dispose of the waste correctly, then the fear of media should. No one likes a bad reputation, and you should always make sure that you practise specific waste disposal methods to preserve the beauty of the environment and the quality of life of the people living in that area. It is also a great marketing approach because if a business portrays its concern for the damaged environment, then its potential customers, as well as its own employees, will look at it in a positive light. It will also help in reducing your marketing expenditure. So why not!
If you are not practising adequate waste disposal methods for the e-waste, then you are minimising your gains, my friend! Not all types of e-waste can be recycled, but still, an outstanding amount of e-waste can be reprocessed and reused. So instead of developing all the devices from scratch, you can recover the old pieces which can reduce your manufacturing cost notably. Thus, improving your profits. As already mentioned above, it will reduce your marketing expenditure too, and also attract potential customers towards your brand; resulting in enhanced sales. A win-win for all!
The revolution in the technology sector is giving birth to many new devices and components, which is increasing the carbon footprint of e-waste significantly. The need to reduce the carbon footprint is rising every day but to no avail. As the population is growing, the demands and desires are increasing too; making it impossible to reduce our waste footprint. This helplessness proves that the world requires efficient e-waste disposal methods because if this continues, the world will face severe consequences real soon. More waste + limited space = ugly-looking venues! You must be having a defined work-space, and to fill it up with garbage is not a wise decision. Period.
Businesses need to find ways where they can fill the requirements of their customers as well as dispose of the waste efficiently, to do their bit for both, the society and the environment.
As already mentioned above, e-waste is hazardous for the environment as well as the society. It leads to extreme pollution, such as:
Improper processing of e-waste is harmful to the marine ecosystem as well as groundwater because it contains heavy metals, like lead, mercury, lithium and barium, etcetera. Consumption of this contaminated water may result in deaths and a variety of abnormalities because of poisoning. The waste is dumped in the water bodies, which later enters our food chain through groundwater or through the seafood that we eat. It is not only destroying the marine ecosystem by killing off species at a time, but also affecting human life as we know it.
B. Air pollution
The burning of computer wires or any other e-waste causes air pollution. It is a conventional method to dispose of e-waste, but admittedly not an advised one. Plastic and other harmful materials are also burned and released in the process, which is causing environmental destruction inevitably.
C. Soil pollution
The compounds present in e-waste are non-biodegradable and can enter the food chain if improperly disposed of in the soil. Soil pollution affects living organisms because when these compounds enter the food chain, it is consumed by the living organisms; causing skeletal system damage, heart, kidney, congenital disabilities, and much more. Soil and water are apparently the sole sources of food that we have, even the animal consumed by any carnivore had consumed their meals produced either in land or water.
People are directly affected due to pollution because it makes them prone to severe diseases like brain damage, lead poisoning and cancer, etcetera. E-waste damages the surrounding beauty; making it an unfavourable environment for everyone.
This is the most overlooked threat of improper e-waste disposal. If storage devices are thrown without proper formatting, then it poses a significant threat to information leak, i.e. the bank accounts, credit card details or other crucial information can be retrieved easily.
Controlled E-waste Disposal
The effects mentioned above explain the need for proper e-waste disposal for products like computer boards, storage devices and electrical equipment, etcetera. The following are some practices that can help businesses and individuals take care of the generated e-waste:
- Recycling and reusing is very efficient in reducing the carbon footprint of e-waste
- Shredding is also helpful to prevent information leak or misuse
- Disposing of e-waste correctly by individuals is advised to avoid any unnecessary mishandling
- Emissions can be avoided by correct treatment of the waste
- The release of e-waste in water bodies should be banned and religiously followed
It is never too late to control pollution; be the first one, and the others will follow!
Author Bio : Jessica Duddon works as the marketing leader for AWA Refiners, the UK’s leading company in computer board recycling.