According to the United Nations Environmental Program, around 49 million metric tons of e-waste is generated throughout the world every year. The Environmental Protection Agency says that among this, 3 million tons is generated in the US. This is because, on an average, any U.S. state has around 4 million computers used in residential and other areas. Not just computers, there are tons of other devices that are thrown away when a newer version of these is launched in the market. However, there is a growing concern for the quantities of electronics disposed every year, which makes recycling a good idea. Given below are a few benefits of the same.
Electronic waste is dumped on dumping grounds or landfills, which are becoming scarce day by day. Not only does this occupy a lot of space, but also spreads harmful toxins. These toxins degrade the ground water, which makes them dangerous. Recycling this waste saves some space in the landfills and prevents the environmental pollution caused by the toxins.
Different types of plastics and gases are used to manufacture various electronic products. Other harmful elements like lead are also vital in the manufacturing process. When the electronic goods are dumped, these chemicals are released into the earth and the air. This poses a serious threat to the health of the people involved in this dumping process, and also those living close to these landfills.
Reuse of Resources
Computer hardware mostly contains a lot of stuff that can be re-utilized, sometimes without any processing. Many big computer companies like Apple, have their own recycling facilities where the disposal takes place, and all the reusable material is sorted out and put to use. These parts don't have to be manufactured again, which saves the resources and energy required. All electronic goods companies should have these facilities.
Many times, the electronic waste is sent to some developing countries which are poor, as cheap labor is available there. These people are made to disintegrate the items with their bare hands, without proper protection, thus exposing them to harmful chemicals. This can have adverse effects on these people, as well as their future generations.
If everyone starts recycling electronic products, companies will not have to manufacture most components from scratch and the production cost of future goods will be reduced. Thus, both the consumer and manufacturer will benefit from this. This will eventually help the economy.
The above mentioned benefits apply only if the goods are recycled in proper recycling centers, by professionals with proper safety measures. So, while giving your electronic goods for recycling, ensure that the center is government approved. Many companies have their own recycling units, which are a safer bet.