The case for recycling of e-waste:
The old adage, “best out of waste” is something that has always held good and will always do. There is so much more that you can do with all the refuse that you discard from your homes and offices. You may think that the stuff no longer can be of use to you but if you look closely there are at least tens of things that you can do and even make good money out of it.
E-waste is one of the segments of municipal waste that has seen a manifold increase in its production. It is mostly in the solid form. The reason why e-waste needs to be capitalized on is that it contains highly valuable materials like aurum (gold), argon (silver), aluminum, and metals of the ferrite group (iron). These minerals if harnessed back from the discarded devices can not only again serve as raw material for manufacturing of the new materials and it will also reduce further mining of these minerals from the earth crust.
The plastic casings:
The plastic casings of the majority of the devices are so thoughtlessly thrown and let to fill up landfill pits that no one gives a second thought about recycling and refurbishing them as raw materials for the future devices. This is especially important for devices that are made from plastic and that will stay on the earth’s surface for millions of years before getting disintegrated into the soil. And by which time they would have poisoned the soil and made the water in the area extremely poisonous.
If you are still skeptical about recycling of e-waste, consider these positive outcomes:
- Conserving mother earth:
The earth has only so much for people’s needs, and not for their greed. When we try to recycle our used e-devices, we are consciously making a decision to do our bit for our surrounding. The minerals so recycled from the discarded material can be up-cycled and made as the raw materials for the newer ones.
- Saving energy:
Money saved is money earned. The energy that is saved in not mining the minerals again amounts to tons of energy saved on various processes right from the mining to the manufacturing.
- Reducing pollution:
This is the natural outcome of not mining such minerals again. Imagine how much the earth and its inhabitants will thank you for not making their air and water poisonous!
- Reducing greenhouse gasses:
The trend so long was to first fill the available landfill and then incinerate it. But in the process, the various valuable minerals in addition to several toxic minerals were burnt and this leads to poisonous gasses mixing with the atmosphere.
- cleaner air:
Imagine toxins like mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium, chromium leaching into the soil and entering the ground water table or going up in flames and making the atmosphere dirty. Diseases like asthma, lung cancer and malignancies of the skin are a direct result of taking in such air and water and also being exposed to such an environment.
- Helping the community:
Instead of disposing of the e-waste irresponsibly and thoughtlessly, why not take an informed decision consciously to know about the nearest e-waste collection center or better still to donate such discarded equipment to community welfare projects. These welfare projects are known to up-cycle the products and provide the have nots with whatever can be salvaged. “Something is definitely better than nothing”
- Creation of job opportunities:
There are possibilities galore for the creation of thousands of jobs for people who are professional recyclers and refurbishes’. The material so up-cycled can be sold to newer markets and the dismantled components can be recycled as raw material for the manufacturing of other goods.
- Lesser occupation of landfill spaces:
At the rate at which the solid waste is growing, it makes no sense to fill up landfills and then let them disintegrate there and poison the air and water. Space conservation can be undertaken if the e-waste is recycled by separation of the waste at the source itself.
Whatever be the reason, go for it:
Whether you want to recycle because you do not want it to lie around your already cluttered household and office or you want to make some bucks out of it. You may also have nobler thoughts like letting someone less privileged than you to use it or you simply drop it at the e-waste collection center because you care enough for your earth, we would like to tell you one thing and that is – just go for it! Waste management is the buzz word of successful living today and tomorrow!!