Firstly, what is ewaste?
Ewaste refers to all the electronic appliances that you discard, such as mobile phones, computers and televisions.
You may not realise it but the decision you make about what to do with your old Windows 98 machine or your Nokia 3310 is actually very important.
Ewaste contains an alarming amount of toxins which can leak into our water supplies or be released into the atmosphere if burned.
The 21st Century has seen a rapid growth in the sales of technology equipment and a shortening life cycle of the technology bought. Consequently, there is a gigantic mountain of electronic waste piling up year on year.
Britain is one of the worst offenders for not recycling electronic products. The United Nations University conducted a study which claims the amount of ewaste generated globally is increasing by two million tons per year and is estimated to reach 50 megatons by 2018.
In August 2007, a new law was established which aims to minimise the impact of electrical goods on the environment. This encourages us to re-use, recycle and recover valuable resources such as precious metals, plastics and steel found in electronic items.
If you responsibly recycling your ewaste, you will;
- Keep toxic chemicals away from landfills
- Create reusable resources
- Save energy
- Cut costs
- Create jobs
So what should you do to get rid of your ewaste?
If you’re a business you should get in touch with a responsible electronic waste disposal company. This can be done via a quick google search. You can also reduce your consumption of electronic goods through efficient planning, procurement and maintenance.
By law, retailers now have to offer consumers a way of getting rid of their electronic equipment. Small items can be taken back to the store where they were purchased and larger items can sometimes be collected when new items are bought.
If the electronic device is no longer wanted but is still fully functional, you could think about passing it on. Items can be given to friends and family, donated to charity shops, or posted on sites such as Freecycle, Gumtree, Preloved etc. Some high street stores such as Cash Converters and CeX will also buy certain electrical items for cash.
If the item is broken, why not consider getting it fixed rather than just throwing it away?
Alternatively, you can search your local area for suitable recycling locations.
One more thing to note before you recycle your old electronics! Ensure you erase all our private data from the hard drive so that it can’t be retrieved by anyone else. Sometimes a recycling company will do this for you, but if not, you can download specific software programme which will overwrite your data for you. Take a look at Kill Disk or Softpedia DP Wiper.