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How Does Electronics Recycling Saves The Environment

Jun 25

Electronics Recycling is the process of reclaiming reusable materials from electronics that have reached the end of their "useful life." It's important to recycle these items as they contain hazardous materials that leach into the environment when buried or incinerated. The recycling of these products reduces the environmental impact from disposal, and it also lowers the costs associated with raw materials. Many everyday electronic devices can be recycled, including computers, televisions, printers, cell phones, DVD players and stereos. For more click

Most people have a pile of obsolete electronic equipment in their homes that they no longer use or need. This pile of e-waste begins to grow, and it eventually ends up being thrown away or donated to a charity reseller. Some of this e-waste can be repaired and refurbished to extend the life of the device. The remainder is often sent to recycling facilities.

Some of the metals that are used to make up the electronics can be recycled to make new products. For example, copper can be reused in the manufacturing of new electrical wiring. Gold, silver and platinum can be recovered from circuit boards to be used in the manufacture of jewelry, computer monitors and other high-end equipment. In addition to these valuable metals, recyclables include glass, aluminum, plastic, lithium and gold-plated connectors.

Depending on the nature of the device, electronics may be taken apart to allow individual components to be recycled. This is important because some of the components in electronic devices, such as lead and mercury, are toxic if left uncontrolled. The processing of e-waste in developing countries is often hazardous. In Guiyu, China, a town that has become the world's largest e-waste recycling center, workers sift through discarded appliances, drill through computer casings to remove their circuitry and soak wires in acid baths in an effort to recover precious metals.

Because it is not easy to prevent e-waste from ending up in landfills, it is important for individuals and businesses to recycle their obsolete electronic equipment. The best option is to donate the equipment for reuse or repair, but if this is not possible, then it should be recycled to help save resources. The 2015 consumer ban on disposal of certain e-waste items in landfills and waste-to-energy facilities and the establishment of Tech Waste Recycling programs has laid the groundwork for recycling more electronic devices.

Fortunately, it's easier than ever to recycle e-waste in New York. Many communities have established collection sites, and manufacturers through their mail-in, takeback and warranty programs also offer this service. In some cases, the electronics can be sent back to the original manufacturer for refurbishment and resale, or they can be sent to recycling facilities where they are sorted, cleaned and processed into the raw materials that will be used in the manufacture of new electronic devices. The sooner a device is recycled, the better. That is because the value of an unwanted device depreciates rapidly after it leaves your home, so the earlier you get rid of it, the more likely that it will be repurposed for another use.