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Recycle It Right! A Complete Guide to Recycling E-Waste

As a society, the amount of e-waste generated on a daily basis in the world is increasing at a sky-rocketing speed. Driven by changes in technology, media, planned obsolescence, and storage types, e-waste is becoming the fastest-growing solid waste stream in the world. Even though electronic devices are aiming to make our lives easier, the detrimental environmental effects of consuming electronics are making more of these items go into landfills, which can no longer be ignored.

What is E-Waste?

Electronic waste, or e-waste, is a term used to indicate waste or unusable electronics products that come from either broken, undesired, or end-of-a product’s lifespan. E-waste is any discarded item with a cord, battery, or plug, like mobile phones, personal computers, laptops, microwave ovens, etc.

In the current scenario, where the usage of electronic devices is increasing rapidly, modernization is both a boon and a bane. Even if tech brings advancements that make life easier and more convenient, it does have flaws. The urge of people to switch to the latest versions or to the newest addition is making the usage of the electronic driver shorter than others. Apart from this, there are other reasons as well that help in the growth of e-waste, like:

  1. Planned obsolescence
  2. The shortening lifespan of electronics
  3. The growing need for portable electronics

Most Common Categories of E-Waste

Covering a wide range of products e-waste is divided into some of the most popular categories:

  1. Small household equipment: Food processor, coffee maker, hairdryer, iron, electric kettle, toaster, electric shaver, fryer, etc.
     
  2. Large household equipment: Air conditioner, refrigerator, washing machine, clothes dryer, freezer, dishwasher, etc.
     
  3. ICT and telecommunication equipment: Video cameras, CDs, computers, laptops, DVDs, telephones, mobile phones, laptops, scanners, printing machines, photocopiers, etc.
     
  4. Medical equipment: Scanners, stereo equipment, cardiology equipment, dialysis equipment, pulmonary ventilators, radiotherapy equipment, etc.
     
  5. Consumer equipment: Sewing machines, gardening tools, nailing tools, screwing tools, electric toothbrushes, etc.
     
  6. Leisure and sports: Video game consoles, car racing sets, electric trains, sports equipment, electric components, biking computers, gaming laptops, and others.
     
  7. Office: Calculators, electric equipment, electronic typewriters, and others.
     
  8. Lighting: Fluorescent lamps, electronic ballasts, solar panels, scales, and others.

Why recycle E-waste (electronic waste)?

Ranging from everyday household items like hairdryers to large household equipment like air conditioners, e-waste comes in a broad range. As all of these products are almost made up of different metals and contain hazardous materials like lead, mercury, lithium, and others, it is necessary to recycle the e-waste in order to protect the environment. Throwing these items in the landfill ends up releasing the heavy metals and hazardous elements that poison the soil and groundwater, leading to several other environmental issues.

By collecting e-waste and scrap metals, you can pick exactly how you want to deconstruct them. There are several methods to get rid of e-waste and sometimes earn money out of it. 

Find out electronic scrap buyers and get rid of the e-waste with profits in monetary terms. As recycling e-waste and other scrap metals helps minimize the environmental impact, you can earn by opting for the method of recycling.

The recycling process of E-waste

To make something that can be used over and over again, the process of recycling includes different steps: 

Step one: Collection 

The first step in the recycling process is the collection of the e-waste from different sources like products, recycling bins, demand for e-waste collection, landfills, and others. Once all the e-waste is collected, it is further stored in a dedicated space.

Step two: Storage 

Storage of e-waste and other products in the right place along with the right container is what the second step of the recycling process is all about. All the collected e-waste is stored in different bins and boxes as per the items, their composition, and others 

Step three: Manual, sorting, dismantling, shredding

After being properly stored, e-waste now goes through the initial stages of recycling by sorting, dismantling, shredding, etc. In the process of manual sorting, the e-waste is sorted as per its composition and nature, whereas in the process of dismantling, the recovery of valuable materials from the waste is done. As a key part of the process, shredding is done to break down the waste material into pieces appropriate for recycling.

Step four: Mechanical separation

Under the process of mechanical separation of recycling, the materials are separated from each other as per their properties like density, conductivity, behavior in a magnetic field, and others. The process is followed by performing two different methods: magnetic separation and water separation. 

Step five: Recovery 

Recovery of recycled materials helps in preparing items and products for resale and reuse. Some of the material is processed onsite and sold directly, whereas some are separated and distributed in the early stages.

How can one help in recycling e-waste?

With various solutions being tried to achieve e-waste recycling targets, there is something more that needs to be done. As a society, we need to do whatever we can to protect the environment and curb the need to generate e-waste. Some of the solutions to help in recycling e-waste are:

  1. Developing global standards for e-waste management
  2. Encouraging manufacturers to make products that are easily recyclable.
  3. One can donate the electronics, not in need
  4. Find a company that offers recycling or reuse of electronics 
  5. Give it to a recycler for recycling 

In order to control the overflow of landfills, there are several ways to prevent e-waste from occurring. The biggest of all is selling your electronic waste to a Scraapy, a Scrap Buyer in Saudi Arabia so if you have electronics that are no longer in use or are just lying around your house, take the hint and start collecting them in a place. Selling your e-waste with Scraapy will help you earn money.

Posted by: Admin | Posted Date: 19-08-2022