Environmental Impact of E-Waste Recycling and The Challenges Involved
Over the past decade, there have been rapid technological advancements and growth in the electronics industry. This has led to a continuous stream of new products resulting to a decline in the life span of electronics. This growth in electronic manufacture has also led to an increase in e-waste which is hazardous since when electronics end up in landfills, toxics like lead, mercury, and cadmium leach into the soil and water.
E-waste refers to electronic products nearing the end of their useful life. Computers, laptops, Printers, stereos, copiers, and fax machines are common electronic products. Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled.
The need to curb e-pollution and reduce the Environmental impact of e-waste recycling sent to landfills and combustion facilities has caused an upsurge in waste recycling. All Green Recycling is a full-service industrial, commercial and consumer recycling company with a focus on exceptional customer satisfaction.
E-waste is dangerous to deposit into Solid Waste landfills because of the heavy metals contained in them. All electrical systems use trace amounts of these materials that may not be hazardous on an individual basis.However, with more than 20 million tons of e-waste produced every year. There is great risk to ecosystems and to human health. With all these risks, what challenges hinder recycling of e-waste? Despite the benefits of metal recovery from e-waste, its recycling is limited. This is partly due to insufficient collection of waste from end-of-life electronic components.
Other causes include lack of policy or legislation mandating e-waste recycling, insufficient recycling and recovery technologies, and illegitimate, unsafe export of harmful e-waste to developing countries. In particular, third world countries use poorly regulated recycling processes which pose grave risks to human health and the environment.
In order to increase the e-waste recycling rates, regulation is needed in order to develop the necessary infrastructure. Regional and local authorities should strive to create public awareness and enable consumers to bring electronics to collection points. Global efforts should be aimed toward streamlining the process for e-waste recycling and increasing the capacity of existing smelters.