With new pieces of technology being released faster and faster, electronic waste has been growing at an alarming rate. Electronic waste can consist of a number of different items from old cell phones to computers, printers, fax machines, televisions and everything else in between. While updating your electronic items is not a problem in itself, the problem arises when these items are simply thrown away where they end up in landfills. Some people even hoard old electronics. Instead of this, e-waste should be recycled. Here are some of the benefits of e-waste recycling.
Every year, around 128 million cell phones are thrown away in landfills. Instead of simply throwing them away, we can be recycling them. When e-waste is recycled, it conserves natural resources. This is because many of the material in old electronics can be harvested and used again. This means that the need to mine for new raw materials will be reduced. For example, the metals found in circuit boards and other electronics or the glass in computer monitors can be used without wasting more natural resources.
Recycling can also help protect the environment and public health. Many electronics have trace amounts of toxic or hazardous materials in them such as lead or mercury. Circuit boards contain other toxins such as chromium and cadmium as well as mercury and lead. When these items are dumped in landfills, the may leak out into the air or ground where they seep into water supplies. If these electronics are recycled instead, it can prevent these harmful materials from entering the environment.
Recycling can also help the community. Often, old computer or electronics still work. They simply are out of fashion or don’t have the latest additions. These items however can still be donated where they can low-income families, nonprofit organization, or schools. When these items are reused, you help prevent them from ending up in a landfill as well as helping those in need.
Be sure to always properly dispose of electronics when upgrading to the latest technology, and you reap the benefits of recycling e-waste!