In the United States, it is estimated that the average household owns more than twenty electronic devices. Every electronic product you buy could end up having an impact on our environment when the life of that product has run out.
E-waste consists of electronic items that are no longer needed. Fax machines, copiers, stereos, televisions, computers, and cell phones are all examples of everyday electronic products that turn into e-waste.
The ongoing challenge of figuring out what to do with old electronics has been around for decades. But what is e-waste and how should you get rid of your old electronics?
Keep on reading and we will walk you through everything you will want to know.
What Is E-Waste?
Any piece of electronic or electrical machinery that has been discarded is considered to be e-waste. This includes broken and working products that have been tossed into the garbage or donated to a reseller.
Usually, if a reseller can't find anyone to take the item, they'll simply throw the electronic away.
E-waste can be especially dangerous because these items can contain toxic chemicals that leach into the earth.
Examples of Common E-Waste Items
E-waste items can include home appliances, communication and IT devices, and office equipment. Microwaves, fans, cell phones, computers, DVD players, lamps, massage chairs, and printers can all be considered e-waste.
One great thing about being alive today is all of the new and advanced technology that seems to be constantly coming out. Unfortunately, this also means that many products that work fine quickly become obsolete.
Think of all of the VCRs that got replaced by DVD players only to be replaced by Blu-Ray players a few years later. When you have millions of households constantly buying new electronics and throwing out old ones, you can end up with major environmental issues.
How You Can Reduce E-Waste
Thankfully, there are several ways that you can reduce the amount of e-waste that you are responsible for. You can start by not discarding your electronic devices, cords, or accessories. This will stop toxins from getting into the earth and contaminating the water.
You can also donate your old electronics to local charities that can reuse and refurbish your devices. If you are a DIY person, then you can try to repair or repurpose your old electronic devices. Why not turn that old VCR into a piece of art?
Buying used instead of new can also help you cut down on e-waste.
Because we know that people are going to keep buying new electronics, it is important to keep stressing the message that we need to recycle older items, not throw them in the garbage.
There are severe environmental risks when we send our e-waste to the landfill. Recycling, on the other hand, will provide a variety of benefits to the environment.
The answer is to turn those old devices over to an experienced firm like Home On Call. We have years of experience with recycling electronic items in an environmentally responsible way.
Simply gather your used and old electronics and give us a call. We'll take care of the rest of the work for you!
The Dangers of E-Waste
Health risks can result from direct contact with toxic chemicals that leach into the earth from e-waste. These include minerals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants, chromium, cadmium, and lead.
Dangers can come from inhaling toxic fumes. The accumulation of chemicals in food, water, and soil can also be extremely dangerous.
E-waste doesn't just put people in danger. It also poses a threat to sea and land animals as well as plants. In developing countries, the risks are even higher because several developed countries send their e-waste there.
Global e-waste doesn't just affect the people who work with e-waste but the people who live near it too.
This is why it is so important that a proper recycling process is utilized.
Data Theft From E-Waste
The dangers of e-waste aren't just environmental. Improperly discarded e-waste can lead to major security and information vulnerabilities.
If you have critical documents, you should always shred them before you throw them out. The same principles can be applied to e-waste.
When you donate or throw out a smartphone or laptop, you should never just give it away as-is.
For both individuals and companies, the hard drive inside of a computer or phone is a major liability. Physical dismantling or destruction of your electronics is the best way to make sure that your sensitive information cannot be accessed.
However, you want this to be handled by professionals. Smartphone and laptop batteries can explode if they are improperly dismantled.
A business could be held liable for the security of its employees and customers if data is stolen or misused. Improperly discarding your electronics can lead to a variety of legal and security problems.
The Importance of Knowing About E-Waste
Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now feel that you have an answer to the question, "what is e-waste?"
As we can see, e-waste affects all of us. This is why it is so important that we understand what it is and how we can properly take care of it.
If you are trying to discard your old or broken electronics, make sure that you use experienced and reliable professional services. Contact us today and see how we can help you with your junk removal.