Why E Waste Recyling is Our Future
In a world where almost everyone owns an electronic gadget, the amount of e-waste produced continues to increase. In 2021, the volume of e-waste generated worldwide is an estimated 57.4 million metric tonnes — greater than the weight of the Great Wall of China! If we don’t act now, this number will continue to climb by three to four percent each year.
E-waste, or electronic waste, is used to describe electronic products nearing the end of their “useful life” such as cell phones, computers, televisions, stereos, and batteries. If not disposed of properly, these materials can be harmful to human health and the environment.
One of the main reasons why people don’t dispose of their used electronics responsibly is a lack of knowledge and understanding. Many simply don’t know the benefits of recycling e-waste on the environment, the economy, and the community.
So what are the positive impacts of recycling e waste?
Benefit #1: Promotes a cleaner environment
Keeping e-waste out of the landfills lessens environmental pollution caused by the toxins found in these products, such as
- and polybrominated flame retardants.
These toxic chemicals can have damaging effects on our soil, water supply, and ecosystem. They can also contribute to air pollution, which can have a negative impact on human health.
Recycling e-waste ensures these harmful materials are disposed of safely and properly.
Benefit #2: Prevents battery leakage
Batteries are essential to our modern lives. We depend on them to start our cars and for the ubiquitous devices we use every day. So what happens to batteries when they wear out? According to Environment Canada, only 5 percent of primary consumer batteries in Ontario are properly recycled. The majority of used batteries get tossed in the garbage and end up in our landfills.
Regardless of the type, most batteries contain toxic heavy metals and chemicals including
- and even mercury.
As batteries corrode, their toxic materials can leach into the soil and make their way into our groundwater, causing irreversible damage to the environment.
At Greentec, we divert the harmful materials found in devices into recyclable streams. The valuable base materials are then filtered back into the circular economy for the production of new products.
Do you have old batteries, or end-of-life devices containing batteries that you’d like to recycle? Contact Greentec to request a business pick up.
You can also bring them to a drop-off location near you.
Benefit #3: Improves the circular economy
Electronic waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. As we continue to upgrade our devices, more electronic goods are being discarded. One of the best solutions to combat this issue is to recycle our e-waste back into the circular economy.
The circular economy is a system designed to extend a product's lifetime by recirculating its materials without producing any waste.
The goal is to make the most out of the material resources available by using the three basic principles:
When products are made from recycled materials, they cost less, which is a benefit for consumers.
For example, fresh aluminum costs twice as much as recycled aluminum. Other benefits include less mining for new materials and less energy being used, which minimizes disruption to the environment. Repurposing these natural resources helps protect the environment and benefits the local economy.
Benefit #4: Supports the community
Do you currently have used electronics just sitting around? Consider donating them to a worthy cause. There are several non-profit organizations in Canada that recycle e-waste as donations.
For example, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore receives payment for the collection of e-waste, which is then used to help build homes for families in our community.
Greentec also supports the community, by offering financial support and technology donations to students, health care workers, and charitable organizations. If you’re interested in getting involved, reach out to us here for more information.
Another way to dispose of e-waste is to donate the raw materials. Electronic waste contains valuable resources such as metal, glass, and plastics, and it can all be repurposed. This helps reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill and conserves energy used to mine and manufacture natural resources.
Interested in donating your e-waste but not sure how to get started? Reach out to Greentec for more information.
The E Waste Recycling Future
Before throwing out your old electronics, think about the impact this could have on the environment and consider the benefits that come with recycling responsibly. Electronic waste continues to be a growing hazard for the world. We must make smart choices now if we wish to see a better future for generations to come.
If you’re interested in improving your company’s overall electronics recycling efforts, reach out to our experienced team for more information here.
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