What happens to old gadgets whether unwanted or no longer usable? Most of them head to the landfill. When owners are not educated on proper disposal of electronic wastes, they are lumped up with household wastes and head to the landfill.
What Are E-Wastes?
There is a long list of e-waste materials. As long as it ran on electricity or battery, it is a potential e-waste when no longer used and when you are contemplating replacing it or throwing it away. Old cell phones, keyboards, scanners, and even that old humidifier or battery-run toothbrush sitting on your garage.
Why Should We Treat E-Waste Differently?
E-wastes pose a threat to our ecosystem. They contain lead, lithium and a wide array of chemicals which when disposed of incorrectly can cause more harm than the good they were used for. E-wastes can be recovered or repurposed. Unfortunately, instead of heading to proper recycling facilities, they get dumped in landfills where they leach to the ground or get burned along with other wastes. The fluid leach can cause major long-term damage to the environment and can contaminate our water. If burned, the toxic material released to the air can cause serious health damage.
How To Properly Dispose of Your E-Waste
It is important to find out where your e-wastes go and not just ‘trust’ your local friendly recycler to do the job for you. Our responsibility doesn’t end in handing off our trash. There are recyclers out there who actually ship out these electronic items to developing countries where the gold or other metals are reclaimed through harmful processes that leave workers with severe health problems and poison their air, land, and water.
In the US, we have E-Steward certification. You can access the complete list HERE. You can drop off your e-waste on designated drop off points. Companies like eGreen IT Solutions in Arizona allow scheduling and dropping off of e-wastes through their website.
Everyone Must Do Their Part
Remember that our life on earth is a form of stewardship – it is everyone’s responsibility to do their part in protecting and preserving our environment for future generation.