Electronic waste, also known as e-waste, refers to gadgets that have been dumped electrically or electronically. E-waste includes used electronics that are meant for refurbishment, reuse, resale, salvage recycling through material recovery, or disposal.
What is E-waste?
E-waste is similar to your normal waste, except you don’t have to take it to the curb. It is mostly found in garbage dump sites, junkyards, and recycling yards. You can see the various products produced from the disposal of discarded gadgets. Electronics, such as computers, TVs, and home entertainment systems, may not be discarded like ordinary trash, but they are collected and sold. How Much of It is There? According to the Electronics Takeback Coalition, less than 30 percent of the 20 million tons of e-waste thrown away annually in the US was properly disposed of. As is the case with most electronic goods now in the world, it is properly managed and recycled. Which e-waste collection options exist in Nigeria?
Why do we need to recycle electronics?
First and foremost, a lot of electronic devices require precious metals to build. And most e-waste includes precious metals as some of their components such as gold, silver and copper. This means recycling electronic devices means providing a sustainable supply of precious metals, especially precious metals used for jewelry and electronics. This is why recycling electronic devices is a great way to help reduce the environmental damage caused by e-waste and to provide a sustainable supply of precious metals for the market. E-waste is also a huge environmental issue. E-waste is a large part of landfills, as people throw them out, not understanding what they are doing to the environment. Electronics are rarely recycled or reused, so they eventually end up in landfills.
What are the options for recycling?
When it comes to recycling, it’s important to know what options are available to you.
The good news is that there are a variety of recycling options for e-waste. You could trust a reputable company that specializes in recycling, or you can also start the e-waste recycling business or find a local recycling center in your area, or even try to recycle your e-waste on your own but for this, you have to take E-waste Authorization and E-waste certificate for recycling.
The process of E-waste Recycling
The process of recycling e-waste is long and complicated. It includes sourcing, gathering, managing, and sorting through electronic waste in order to extract valuable materials. The recycling process is done in stages:
1) Draining residual chemicals from the products;
2) Dismantling the product;
4) Testing for hazardous materials;
5) Removing non-metallic components from circuit boards;
6) Separating metals like copper, aluminum, iron, nickel, and zinc by magnetism and density;
7) Removing plastic parts from circuit boards with a high-temperature melt furnace.
The recycling process may be a long one but it is crucial to maintain our ecology for future generations to enjoy.
Read Also: The Plastics Recycling Process and Why is plastic recycling important
Although we often consume electronic devices, we need to be aware of their life cycle, that is, the technology and the materials used to make them before we dispose of them. Not every gadget is the same, we need to take our gadgets’ lifecycle into account before deciding to dispose of them.