Tips to Dispose of and Recycle e-Waste Right Way

Have you ever wondered how much e-waste we produce every year?

More than 50 million tones of electronic waste are produced around the globe, and this massive amount of e-waste is accountable for contaminating our environment. E-waste contains harmful materials (e.g. lead, chromium, cadmium, toxic fumes, etc.) which are detrimental to our environment; particularly when they are leaked into bodies of water, soil and air, affecting both plants and animals. Acquainting yourself with some proper practices can help us to manage e-waste efficiently.

Here are the components what we cover in the article -

  1. What is e-waste?
  2. Examples of e-waste
  3. Dispose of or recycle - what to do?
  4. Why should you take care of your e-waste?

What is e-waste?

Electronic waste, which is commonly known as e-waste, is the scrap that is produced from discarded electronics devices. To be more specific, any electronic item that is no longer useful or is irreparably damaged, we can define as e-waste.

Examples of e-waste

The following electronic items are considered e-waste when they reach the end of their life. According to their types of usage, they are categorised below:

  • Consumer electronics;(Television, Mobile, DVD Players etc.) 
  • Office electronics;(Laptop, Projector, Scanner, Printer, Copier etc.) 
  • Lighting devices (Incandescent Lamp, Light Emitting Diode (LED) Lamp, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) Lamp etc.) 
  • Power tools (Air compressor, Hammer Drill etc.)
  • Home appliances (Air Conditioners, Refrigerator, Washing Machine etc.)
  • Toys, leisure and sports equipment (Handheld Game Consoles, Electric Scooter, Electric guitar etc.)

Dispose of or recycle - what to do?

Don’t know whether to choose disposing or recycling?
Depending on the type of e-waste, you may opt for either disposal or recycling. For instance, if you have an old iPhone which still functioning, you can opt for recycling. You may think of reusing a mobile phone rather than buying a new one.On the other hand, you may opt for waste disposal if you want to get rid of your old electronic devices.

Here are some useful tips to guide you through disposing and recycling your e-waste:

1. Taking electronic items to the waste and recycling Centre

Searching for a  e-waste recycling centre in your area can be an excellent way to recycle e-waste. This can be done by storing the waste and send it to the e-waste recycling Centre.

If you are looking for a local e-waste recycling and disposal centre, we are;the right choice for you. We provide services like waste disposal and recycling, bin hire, engineering services and more, which make it the best waste transfer station available in Melbourne. Moreover, we offer a free waste audit service for medium and large-sized businesses, which is helpful to find out ways for your company to recycle your e-waste and save money.

2. Sending back electronic items

Many electric companies have an exchange policy where you can send all of your obsolete electronic gadgets and buy a new one. Sometimes, they also offer a discount when purchasing a new item.

Moreover, some companies (e.g, TechCollect, E-Cycle Solutions etc.) provide recycling services including drop off points where you can drop all of your old electronic items such as old phone or tablets, which are then recycled.

3. Donating or selling outdated electronics

Giving away or selling obsolete electronic devices are two great e-waste disposal techniques which anyone can adapt to manage e-waste prudently.

  • One way to dispose of your old electronics is to sell them on a popular site such as eBay or Craigslist. Otherwise, you can find many local electronic shops who are ready to buy your old electronic goods.
  • Donating your old electronic devices to others, such as to a needy student or an NGO can be another great idea instead of wasting or disposing of those items. But you need to be very careful when giving away to another as your electronics may contain some of your data. You can find several organisations such as Give Now who arrange electronic goods donation programs.

4. Use cloud services for storing data

Cloud services are an excellent way to store all your important data online. This is a convenient option as you don’t have to carry storage devices all the time.

The main benefit of using a cloud service is that you can access your data from anywhere around the globe. Cloud storage reduces the need for manufacturing new storage devices, resulting in lower environmental impact as it indirectly helps in reducing carbon footprints and minimising e-waste.

5. Rent electronic items instead of buying

A good idea to minimise your e-waste is to rent it, mostly if you barely use specific items.

For instance, if you infrequently need a video projector for your business, rather than buying; you may consider renting it. If you are looking for a cost-effective and environmentally friend option, renting electronics can be your best choices as you only have to pay for the duration of usage, and you do not even have to buy a new device.

6. Manage your equipment properly

Failing to account for your devices will result in you spending money on duplicate electrics, so it’s a good idea to manage your equipment properly. You can do this in the following ways:

  • First and foremost, pick a particular space to keep your electronic items altogether. When choosing a storage location for your device, ensure that it is convenient and accessible.
  • Then organise devices following their usage type, and put them in separate desks or boxes.
  • Store your gadgets at an appropriate temperature as some products may be sensitive to a dry or cold environment.
  • Remove potential hazardous materials from your devices that can cause fire, spillage or permanent damage to your electronics.

7. Say no to landfill

Over the years, landfill has become one of the most popular waste disposal methods. However, this is not the best solution.

The main reason is that e-waste contains several toxic chemicals like mercury and lead which are detrimental for humans as well as for the environment. Landfilling releases these toxic chemicals into the environment, affecting the atmosphere and triggering severe health problems.

8. Purchasing less unnecessary electronic gadgets

Technology is evolving, resulting in people buying new electronic devices without considering the worth those products will bring in their daily life. As a result, more and more e-waste is produced every year.

Be considerate while purchasing a new electronic item. Make sure that the product you are buying is useful and can be used for a long period. In doing so, you can avoid buying unnecessary electronic items.

Why should you take care of your e-waste?

It is estimated that the amount of e-waste production will increase to 52.2 million metric tons by 2021. This will be a major threat to the environment and human health in the near future. The growing quantity of e-waste is filling our earth full of toxic materials, polluting our air, water and soil. The hazardous substances that are found in e-waste are detrimental to the environment as well as human health. For example, when lead is leaked into the atmosphere, it can damage human blood, kidneys and event the peripheral nervous system.

Here is a video by ABC on e-waste facts in Australia-

Therefore, proper disposal and recycling are crucial to safeguard our environment from pollution and to protect our health.

Knowing these e-waste disposal and recycling methods can help every individual to minimise e-waste. While this tremendous problem cannot be solved in one day, people should be aware of its consequences. These approaches will help you to reduce your e-waste efficiently.

Image source: Pixabay, VectorStock

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