Importance of WEEE Recycling on the Environment

Electronic waste, popularly known as e-waste, is a term used to describe electronic or electric items that require disposing. E-waste may include items such as old computers, televisions, cell phones and printers among others. Technology advances each day as the world tries to find newer and more innovative ways to carry out daily activities. Unfortunately, this fact also means that there is an increase in items that need disposing of.

Waste Electrical and Recycling Equipment Regulation recycling (weee recycling) is a European directive designating responsible and safe recycling of E-waste. WEEE recycling seeks to create awareness and promote proper disposing of electronic and electric items in order to protect the environment and increase raw materials for future manufacturing of electronics.

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How E-waste affects the Environment

According to a study carried out by Nations Environment Program, over 80 percent of e-waste is traded and dumped illegally. This is especially common in developing countries that haven't implemented laws and protocols that govern proper disposing of electronic and electrical waste materials.

Air Pollution

There are many ways that e-waste affects the air we breath. For instance, various processing plants are known to burn electronic wires in order to get to copper which is valuable. This results in the release of hydrocarbons into the environment. The same processing plants are also known to use chemicals to strip gold plated chips and as a result, emit heavy metals and brominated dioxins into the environment.

Water Pollution

Older versions of computers, televisions and cameras used cathode ray tubes and when they are broken down to remove the yoke, the shell is dumped leading to water pollution. Barium and lead, which are some of the contents in these shells leach into the ground and come into contact with water around the region. This makes the water dangerous to both humans and wildlife that depend on the water for survival.

Importance of Electronic Recycling

Landfill Space

The world is quickly running out of landfill space. This is due to the increase of electronics manufacture and short product life. By recycling these materials, we are helping free up landfill space.

Protect Environment

Cadmium, mercury, lead and chromium are some of the chemicals found in older electronic devices. These chemicals are released into the environment when disposed of improperly. It is estimated that up to 70 percent of the heavy metals found in landfills comes from electronic devices.

If you have electronics that require disposing of, then you'd be doing the world a favour by finding proper ways to recycle them.