E-Waste and the Importance of Electronics Recycling
By Rick Leblanc
With new cheap devices, society has reaped tremendous benefits. This explosive growth in the electronics industry, however, has led to a rapidly escalating issue of end-of-life (EOL) electronics or e-waste. In landfills or primitive recycling operations, toxic materials can be released from old electronic devices into the environment.
E-waste is growing, and with that surge comes the need for effective electronics recycling programs. According to a January 2019 report from the World Economic Forum, E-waste is now the fastest-growing waste stream in the world, with an estimated waste stream of 48.5 million tonnes in 2018.
People still seek information on TV recycling, computer recycling, and other programs that will help them responsibly get rid of unwanted equipment while minimizing any risk of data or identity theft.
The safe recycling of electronics is receiving increased attention from policymakers, industry, and consumers alike. This trend is good news because many consumers are still not sure how to safely dispose of old computers, smartphones or other electronic devices. According to one report, nearly 75 percent of old electronics continues to be stored in households because of the unavailability of convenient recycling options.
This article looks at some of the basic questions, such as defining e-waste, exploring why it is important, how consumers can recycle, state legislation, and the issue of the international shipment of hazardous e-waste.