How To Dispose of Your E-Waste Responsibly
E-waste, or electronic waste, are materials or appliances that have an electronic component. They usually have plugs and cords, and most of them use electrical energy. These appliances such as televisions, phones, computers, printers, and photocopies, and home appliances such as heaters, air conditioners, electric cookers, and radios become E-waste as they near the end of their use or lives.
In the modern world, our current dependence on technology and the rate of advancement means that the more we produce newer, smarter devices, the more we generate e-waste as the previous models become obsolete.
If you’ve ever replaced your phone with a newer model with better camera quality, your old television with a smart TV, or your microwave, then you have generated e-waste. For the most part, generating e-waste may be unavoidable. However, it’s important to have a responsible and sustainable waste disposal system for the e-waste generated.
Dimension can help you here.
Why Recycle E-waste and Dispose of E-waste Responsibly?
Every year, a billion mobile phones and 300 million computers are produced, and 40 million tons of e-waste are generated. Between 2001 and 2017, the US produced more than 20 million tons of hazardous waste, 70% of which is e-waste. In 2019, the world generated over 53 million metric tons of e-waste. While small electronics such as discarded phones, electronic toys, and video cameras made up 32% of this e-waste, large appliances such as kitchen appliances (refrigerators, water heaters, and washing machines), photocopiers, and computers made up 24%. Yet, of all the e-waste generated in 2019, only 17% was reported to be recycled.
When E-wastes are not properly disposed of with sustainability and recycling in mind, they end up in landfills. With more than 80% of our e-wastes being sent to landfills, so many toxic substances are released into the environment, both to the soil, air and underground water.
The toxic substances in e-waste include flame retardants and elements like arsenic, mercury, lead, selenium, cadmium, and chromium. Many of these substances, which you’ll find in everyday electronic devices like TV, computers, and cathode-ray tubes, have negative effects on humans, animals, plants, air, water, and soil quality.
Although these elements are often in very minute quantities when they accumulate (as in landfills), Lead and cadmium may affect the central nervous system (CNS) and cause renal failure, chromium may also affect the CNS and cause skin ulcers and dermatitis while arsenic may affect the immune system.
When we dispose of e-waste responsibly:
- We save precious metals and natural resources: many phones contain precious metals like gold. Rather than invest in mining these metals for fresh products, we can reuse the metals from recycled electronics. Every year, the US disposes of about $60 million in precious metals in e-waste and yet, the EPA states that a metric ton of circuit boards contains 40 – 800 times more than the amount of gold mined from one metric ton.
- 1 million laptops recycled saves enough energy to power 3,600 homes yearly.
- Reduce air, water, and soil pollution
- Reduce greenhouse gas emission
- Improve human and environmental health
Hint 1: Get a trash removal service for your electronic waste disposal.
Recyclable Parts of Your Electronics
Electronic devices that become e-waste are made of several components. Many components may be recyclable. The recyclable parts of your device may include.
- Some batteries (alkaline batteries are 100% recyclable). Mercury from mercury battery may also be separated and recycled by a specialist for new use, although it may also be specially disposed of.
- Glass from cathode-ray tubes
- Plastic materials
- Ink cartridges and toners
- Circuit boards
- Ingot from hard drives
How To Prepare Your E-waste for Recycling
Step 1: Separate the materials
First of all, separate your e-waste from the rest of your trash that go into a waste bin.
Then make sure that your remove all batteries from the devices to be recycled. Remove your phone batteries and the rechargeable battery in your electric toothbrush. Since alkaline batteries are totally recyclable, put them in a separate bag or box.
You can also classify them as bulky, e.g., fridge and washing machine, hazardous, e.g., batteries, screens, and other devices that may have chemicals, and non-hazardous, e.g., cables, microwave, and chargers.
Step 2: Separate broken items
Broken e-waste items like TV or phones should be further separated. Keep these in a sealed bag or box.
How To Dispose of e-waste devices responsibly.
Donate or Sell
One way to ensure sustainable disposal of your obsolete electronic devices or household appliances that become e-waste is to donate them or sell them to someone who needs them.
Typically, many people consider an appliance obsolete when there’s a newer, smarter model in the market; for example, a lot of people will instantly switch their iPhones when there’s a new release, even if there’s nothing wrong with the old one. It’s possible to sell the old ones to people. In the case of old household appliances, you can donate to someone.
Exchange or Upgrade Your Device
Instead of condemning your appliance as e-waste that is destined for a landfill, consider exchanging it. Many tech companies will gladly accept your old devices or appliances in an upgrade or exchange program, especially if you buy from the same brand. They may give you a good discount when you do this.
Find a Recycling Drop Off Point
Some communities may have a drop-off point for their electronic devices and home appliances. From this drop-off point, the e-waste is picked up and recycled. Find out if your municipal has an e-waste drop-off or recycling facility. Just search “e-waste recycling facility near me” or “e-waste drop off near me.”
Remember to format and upgrade your devices when selling, donating, exchanging, or dropping them off for recycling.
Hiring a Junk PickUp and Trash Removal Professional for Your E-waste Disposal
As tempting as it is to throw out e-waste materials like laptops and old phones, the alternative is actually a lot easier than most people think. Recycling old hardware means that you can protect the environment by cutting down on emissions, conserving energy, and reusing materials.
If you’re not ready to deal with the stress of recycling and repurposing and still want to dispose of your appliances or devices responsibly, you should hire a professional waste disposal service to handle your paper waste. Some waste disposal services may offer junk pickup and appliance removal for a price. This is also useful if your appliance doesn’t function anymore and the other options are not viable.
There are countless opportunities for savings and environmental impact when it comes to e-waste removal, but it’s important that your processes are implemented and managed by experts in the field. TrashWarrior will identify the specific areas from which your business can benefit while you relax in the knowledge that you are a part of a sustainable and green system!
Get in touch with the Dimension team now and we’ll talk you through a tailored, sustainable plan that will curb climate change and save you costs. Let’s put poor e-waste recycling management in the wastebasket!
At Dimension, we are a team of professionals, and we preach responsibility and compliance in waste disposal. We know how best to handle your e-waste and make sure it is disposed of and recycled sustainably.
What’s more? We don’t only handle e-waste disposal; we can help with other items you don’t need, including mattress disposal, couch disposal, furniture removal, cardboard recycling, appliance disposal, etc. And unlike most waste disposal/ junk removal companies, we offer cheap junk removal and recycling management at very affordable rates.
Give us a call today!