“Electronic waste” can be defined as all secondary computers, electronics, mobile phones, and other items such as television sets and refrigerators, whether sold, donated, or no longer wanted by their original owners.
E-waste is one of the fastest growing types of waste, much of it ends up dumped in Africa and Asia. Take a look at Greenpeace’s electronic waste trail map.
The United Nations tells us some, 20-50 million tonnes of electronic waste – or e-waste – is produced every year. The recycling of electronic waste in developing countries such as India causes serious health and pollution problems because electronic equipment contains some very serious contaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium and brominated flame retardants. Exposure to these dangerous chemicals is rewarded with as little as $3 per day, picking through these parts leaves people, many of them children, with constant cuts, scrapes, watering eyes and headaches.
Even in developed countries like our own, recycling and disposal of e-waste involves significant risk to workers and communities and great care must be taken to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operations and leaching of material such as heavy metals from landfills and incinerator ashes.
We all want to be part of developing technology so we owe it to ourselves and our planet to recycle responsibly. Manga-Fu and PDC are two companies within the UK that can help you recycle that unwanted IT and Electrical equipment. So if you get a new mobile or computer for Christmas, think twice about what you will do with the old one!