The E-waste Pickup Process

The e-waste pick up process consists of a few steps: collection, sorting, data destruction and reuse. Electronic waste (e-waste) is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. E-waste is defined as any used electronic devise that we no longer need. When we throw our e-waste away, we send it to the landfills, where it accumulates for years. When gadgets sit in the sun, they are heated up, which causes them to emit toxic chemicals in to the air and the soil. They do this because of the substances that they are made up of, like lead or mercury.

When chemicals are seeped in to the soil, they destroy natural resources like trees and plants. When they are released in to the air they cause adverse health effects. Mercury is poisonous to humans and lead can interfere with the mental development of young children. It is important that we dispose of our electronic waste responsibly so that it does not collect in landfills and harm us or the earth. A responsible recycler will follow a particular set of steps in the e-waste pick up process. They will not simply export the trash in to another, less developed country, like irresponsible recyclers will do. First they will collect the e-waste, then they will sort it out. Afterward they will wipe off the data from the various electronic devices. Finally they will reuse the materials that they have extracted.

The E-Waste Pick Up Process: Collection and Sorting


The first thing that happens in the e-waste pickup process is the recyclable electronic devices will be collected. Sometimes there will be bins where you can place your used electronics for the collection of e-waste. When the bins fill up, a recycler will pick up the gadgets and bring them to a processing plant. Afterward the materials will be sorted by type. Devices with cathode ray tubes, like old style televisions will be processed in one line, and most of the other electronics will be processed in another. Some recyclers will take apart the devices and sort even more. They will separate metals, plastics and circuit boards. Cathode ray tube devices will be taken apart and sent into a separate facility that will remove lead from the glass.

E-waste Pick Up Process: Data Destruction and Reuse

The next step in the e-waste pick up process is data destruction. Hard drives will be separated and destroyed. Every recycler may have a differing methodology, but the two most common methods include crushing the hard drives and shredding the hard drives. After the electronic waste is sorted and taken apart, its materials will typically be shredded in to small pieces that are around the size of a quarter. The material will be separated even more by a machine, and if need be, will be sent downstream to be processed further.

After the material is fully processed, it will be sent for reuse in new products to manufacturers and other buyers. The only exception is glass used in cathode ray tubes. Even if the lead is removed from the glass, there will still be small amounts of lead in it, and this can’t be used in consumer products. Generally this material will be sold to plants who will reuse the glass in new cathode ray tube devices, and that is the end of the e-waste pickup process.


Share this story

Post a comment