E-waste is the waste that is formed by the disposal of electronic goods. In the electronic driven world with very fast changing technology, the electronic goods are discarded every couple of years. They include mobile phones, laptops tablet, computers, television, refrigerators and batteries among other things. With new technology, the old ones become obsolete and are replaced by the latest models. Many times if equipment is not working properly, it is seen as more convenient to let go of it instead of repairing it. The often prohibitive costs of repairing as well as the costs of the parts can be a reason for it.
Problem of E-waste
The result is a growing problem of e-waste disposal. The growing piles of discarded electronics or parts are leading to environmental pollution
More importantly, the components such as lead, beryllium, cadmium etc. are a health hazard when left unexposed. The workers at the waste site and the neighbouring areas and the residents can be exposed to radiation from these carcinogenic elements.
Apart from the radiation there are other health risks to being in close contact with the components from this waste. Some of them are non –destructible, such as the Cathode Ray Tubes used from display screens.
The growing piles of these wastes are occupying too much space.
Solution for E-waste
The only possible solution to this problem is recycling of the waste. The small component parts are not necessarily all damaged and the one that are new or are in working condition can be easily extracted and reused. If the appliance is entirely damaged then the raw material such as metals can be recycled, e.g. the copper wires from the cables can be extracted for remoulding into wires.
Advantages of recycling e-waste are manifold. First of all the natural reserves are conserved. The extraction of the metals will cut down the necessity of mining them.
The reuse and recycling will reduce the exposure to the hazardous components like cadmium, beryllium, lead, etc. The emission of greenhouse gases while manufacturing these parts will go down if the need to manufacture them is curtailed.
E-waste is a problem that is being faced by almost all countries globally but more so by developing countries as the e-waste is imported to these countries in bulk. Hence each of us must be committed to cutting down the waste and use, reuse and recycle all e-waste.