How many mobile phones have you used so far? What about the CDs which we had used in our childhood days? Don’t forget to count the number of headphones you’ve purchased and worn out in 6 months. The real question is what are you doing with them? Did you throw them to the landfills or tried to repair it or sent it to the e-waste recycling centre?
Did you know that 30 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed of annually? Among that only 22% are being recycled and the remaining 78% end in landfills. Even though the e-waste in the landfills of America is 2%, it emits 70% of overall toxic waste. India is the fifth largest e-waste producer in the world. So, think twice before tossing away any electronic items.
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What do you mean by e-waste?
E-waste is nothing but the electronic items which are no longer in use. Some of the examples of e-waste are laptops, printers, scanners, fax machines, phones, DVD players, monitors etc.
The advantage of the e-waste is that we can reuse or repair the specific parts or sent it to the recycling process. We can get rid of this toxic situation easily just by implementing the following suggestions. If we purchase our electronic items the right way, we can reduce so much of e-waste that ends in the landfills.
Problems of the e-waste:
We are not treating electronic waste properly. Some tend to burn the items or they just dump in the landfills. So, the toxic elements in the e-waste like mercury, lead and cadmium contaminate the soil and groundwater which leads to cancer and other health issues.
Reusing Vs Repairing Vs Recycling the e-waste:
If something stops working try to repair in a local mobile shop and reuse it again. This prevents us from getting the new one. Hence you’ll save lots of money, reduce dumping in the landfills and the workers also benefitted from this by earning money thus increasing the economy. If you couldn’t reuse or repair consider recycling as your last option.
What to look for in the e-waste recycling centre?
There are many problems in recycling e-waste. It’s really hard to find a good e-waste recycling centre. As I mentioned above, some recyclers take the metals like gold and silver from the electronic items and just dump the other parts in the landfills which are harmful to our environment. So, before recycling your products check whether they have the valid certifications or not.
Benefits of recycling:
- By recycling the electronic items, we can get back the rare metals and minerals used in them to reuse those metals in further production instead of just mining and extracting again from our Earth. A report says that one recycler in China produces more cobalt just by recycling than mining them for one year in a country.
- You can save lots of energy from recycling because you don’t need to start manufacturing the products from scratch.
What you could do to reduce the e-waste?
So, what to look for when buying an electronic item?
Follow the steps below before buying any electronic item.
Before buying an item make sure you really need it or just want it. We always tend to buy the products when they’re in the sale or in its trend or when everyone buys it. Due to this social pressure, we may end up buying things that we actually don’t need. So, ask yourself, are you buying this because the company has launched a new or upgraded version?
Now you came to realise that you really need that product.
- What happened to the old one?
- Was that broken due to poor quality or your mishandlings?
- Do I have the warranty for my product?
- Does the product fail to work due to any technical issues or software problem?
- Can I able to repair the old one and reuse it again?
After answering the questions, you’ll get to know whether you’ve to actually buy the product or not. If you evaluate the answers for these questions, you’ll find a perfect long-lasting product.
- When the old one is physically damaged then you’ve to improve your handling skills or you should never buy those low-quality ones.
- Check whether you have the warranty for that product so that you can exchange it instead of throwing this to the landfills and buying the brand new one. Here the company will take care of the recycling process.
- If it has any internal software issues and stopped working, try to solve the issue by repairing that particular part. Try to change the lens if the camera stopped working in a mobile phone or change the operating system if something goes wrong with the OS on your laptop etc.
When none of the ideas in step 3 worked, go for the new one. But before going for the new one, think what are you going to do with the old one?
- If you’re buying the new product only because of its new features and when the old one is completely fine, try to use the old one itself. But if you need them really really necessary, try to sell or donate the current one to someone who needs rather than keeping it in your house as junk for years.
- If it is completely damaged, try to recycle them at the certified e-waste recycling centres.
Now you know what to look for when buying a new product. lemme share with you again in brief. You can also check the above picture for a quick recap!
- First, look for the reviews of the product. See what people say about it.
- Then look at the features and durability of the product and don’t forget to look for the guarantee.
- See it has a warranty or not?
- Check whether they are providing good service even after the purchase. If not, no problem you can anyhow repair it at any local service shop.
- Having a recycling program in the company is an added advantage. But it’s quite difficult to find those kinds of companies. So, it is better to handle your electronic items well and prevent it from ending up with the other e-waste.
Do you’ve any suggestions to use the electronic items effectively?
You may also like to read:
Tips to turn waste into something useful at home
What do you do with old plastic? | Zero waste living
5 Eco-Friendly Food Storage Containers & Cookware
Zero waste living | Beginner’s Guide
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