The boon of the modern age is deeply rooted in our lives in the form of the plethora of electrical devices which have assumed complete control on our lives. One tap or one click and we get what we want from whichever part of the world, while sitting comfortably on our couches. Whichever aspect of our life it is, whether professional and personal, machines have acquired a big role in each sphere.
Talking of the huge impact that these machines and devices have on our lives, we must also consider their impact on our environment. WEEE, which stands for Waste Electrical and Environmental Equipment is the term that is collectively used for any kind of electrical equipment that you can see around yourself, for example-
- Large household appliances- washing machines, cookers, microwaves, etc.
- Small household appliances- toasters, clocks, vacuum cleaners, irons, etc.
- Telecommunications equipments- computers, tablets, cell phones, telephones,
- Consumer equipments- radio, home theatre, musical instruments, cameras,
- Electrical tools
- Lighting equipments
- Sports and toys equipments- games consoles, treadmills, gym equipments
- Medical equipments
- Automatic dispensers- coffee machines, ATMs
- Monitoring equipments- smoke detectors, metal detectors, thermostats,
- Display equipments- monitors and television,
- Gas discharge lamps
- Cooling equipments- refrigerators
- PV solar panels
- Others- fan, coolers, air condition
Why is it important to recycle WEEE in an environment-friendly manner?
With the growing number of WEEE appliances in use, the major issue that later came up in light was the correct handling of e-waste or for that matter, the proper handling of the entire WEEE category articles. All these appliances and objects are known to pose great threats to human health if not handled carefully.
All of the above mentioned products contain some or the other harmful toxin. The traditional method to dispose them was to dump all of these in a landfill or use the incinerator. But over time these appliances decay and release toxins in the ecosystem which can easily enter the food chain, hence proving hazardous to our health. Health risks posed to human body are as grave as kidney diseases and brain damage to permanent genetic mutations. Not only this, the harmful effects also cause elevated risks of cancer and neurological and developmental disorders in the body.
Giving you a deeper insight, appliances like computers and television monitors contain hazardous elements like lead, mercury and cadmium. Circuit boards contain nickel, beryllium and zinc. All these elements, if present in our system in large amounts, can produce long lasting negative effects on the body. It is because of al these collective reasons why handling of WEEE waste properly is crucial and special efforts need to be made that this is done with all the attention and care this task requires.
How to dispose WEEE waste in an environment-friendly way?
With so many risks involved with mishandling of WEEE waste, the traditional methods of disposal, landfill and incinerators, are being avoided and alternative approaches are being employed for the purpose. The few ways by which one can make sure that the WEEE waste generated is handled carefully are-
- These firms are certified to recycle and dispose the WEEE waste and with the use of highly efficient and secure recycling service, these firms make sure that the e-waste is disposed in an eco-friendly manner.
- Another way to get rid of your old electronic appliance is to sell it. There are many online portals which can help you sell off your old belongings and get a decent price for them. Also, the same thing can be done by corporate organizations. They can give their old devices like laptops and desktops to other firms instead of dumping them. This process is called up cycling.
- Donating your old gadgets and appliances is also a way by which you can ensure the device is handled carefully. Many NGOs will be extremely happy to take your help and use them for a better purpose. Make sure, before you donate your device it is in a good, working condition, has proper documents and is devoid of any personal information.
- Civic institutions like the schools, universities, the government also, at times, recycling programs where you can go and drop off any appliance which you tend to get rid of.
- Exchange policies are encouraged by a lot of electronic companies. When you are interested in buying a new gadget, check if your old device can be exchanged along with some extra money to get the new one.
Simon Hopes is a renowned author and social media enthusiast. Hand over the e-waste to a certified firm like TDS Safeguard to deal with it.
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