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The Evolution of Technology Presents Challenges in E-Waste Recycling

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Daliah Okoro
Daliah Okoro
June 18, 2014

There are, of course, many benefits of living in the technology age. We have access to better televisions, quicker computers and laptops. One side effect of the increasing rate at which new products are put out is an electronic waste, or e-waste, that comes from the advancement in technology. There are several different estimates of how many computers and televisions are thrown out each year, with some of them projecting that the number is as high as tens of millions. This is a huge issue since e-waste is often thrown in landfills, causing harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, silver, and mercury to leak into the ground and sometimes even water supplies. This means that we need to come up with a new solution for e-waste.

computers stacked on each other

As of now, e-waste is treated like any other household item; hazardous waste produced in the home goes unregulated. This means that e-waste such as laptops, monitors, televisions, and motherboards are all being thrown in the trash and disposed of in landfills. Other organizations such as government agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses, for example, are sometimes held to e-waste rules that discourage them from throwing away their old products. The Department of Environmental Quality highly encourages people to reuse or recycle their e-waste whenever possible.

To help prevent the growing number of e-waste there are now many companies that will offer “take back” opportunities. This means that you can sell them your old piece of e-waste and they will most likely refurbish it, then sell it to another person at a discounted rate. The Keep Nebraska Beautiful Materials Exchange Program is one of these programs. The program has been doing well by finding new homes for almost 50 computers and recycled over 30,000 pounds of computer parts. To help keep the number of e-waste down, along with the number of hazardous elements in our landfills, be sure to dispose of your e-waste properly. Also, take advantage of the many e-waste recycling centers in Orange County to dispose of your e-waste if you live in the area. Do not throw it in a landfill, but instead, go to a proper business that will either recycle or refurbish it. Thank you for doing your part!

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