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Why e-Waste Recycling is Good for the Environment

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Kevin Marshall
Kevin Marshall
November 15, 2013

As we move into increasingly technical ages, more and more people find that they have electronic items which need to be replaced. The old things, known as ‘e-waste,’ are making their way into landfills in increasing numbers, causing significant damage to the environment.

e-waste disposal with trash

The processes involved in dismantling and then disposing of electronic waste items tends to make its way around to the third world, where cheap labor and poor working conditions keep costs as low as possible and enable unscrupulous firms to make as much profit as possible. Both liquid substances and the gases released into the atmosphere during these processes can cause significant damage, as they are absorbed into water sources, groundwater, the soil, and the air to affect human life, animal life and the success of crops needed for sustenance – and the availability of safe drinking water. A study of the impact of poor e-waste management in China led to shocking conclusions. A particular type of airborne dioxin associated with health problems was found in levels of 100 times more than previously, the carcinogens found in paddy fields and duck ponds was significantly higher than the given international standard for an agricultural area, and more than 300 times the level of heavy metals in the road dust was also reported.

From televisions, computer monitors, ATMs, video cameras and numerous other devices, their cathode ray tubes are broken so that the yoke can be removed. Breaking these tubes releases lead and barium into the groundwater and a toxic substance known as phosphor into the air. Circuit boards from all manner of electrical items have their solder removed to take off the computing chips, with the boards then bathed in acid to remove any traces of fine metal elements. The discharge from this into rivers and the air is staggeringly unhealthy. These are just two examples of what can happen when e-waste is not recycled correctly. If you are seeking e-waste recycling services in LA, be sure to find a professional company who will do the job right.

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