Electronic waste all around us will continue to increase and prudence dictates that we speedily find ways to ensure that we deal with the discarded equipment in an environmentally safe way. Examples of these electronics include computers, telephones, televisions, monitors and radio sets, to name but a few. All these, depending on their mode of disposal, generate toxic waste that is hazardous. It has been estimated that we have about 70% heavy metal in waste. This includes cadmium, mercury and lead, all generated from electronic equipment that has been discarded. These harmful substances that are emitted have been linked to adverse health problems experienced by human beings like cancer, hormone disruption and birth defects. The electronic waste resources recovery processes will require deliberate and concerted efforts from the respective governments in each nation if they are to be effective. International organizations that are concerned with the environment can also team up with respective governments and nations to make the efforts successful.
So what are some of the methods that can be used in the recovery process of the electronic waste we find multiplying all around us? The following are recommended;
The electronic waste problem must first of all be dealt with at the production level, and alleviated from there. Policies can be created so that firms dealing in electronics can generate advanced recycling fees and have extended producer responsibility. These firms can also be guided by the policies to create better product designs that do not degenerate quickly and whose disposal can be done safely, if not recycled.
Governments and environmental organizations can establish efficient and effective programs for e-waste collection, especially around urban centers. These will provide convenient avenues where the electronics can be disposed of and collected for recovery and recycling. This measure will also go a long way in helping the residents who use these gadgets. They will be able to understand the importance of enhancing their own safety through proper electronic waste disposal.
The recycling facilities that have been established to deal with e-waste can then come up with best practices so that they can have an easy time dealing with the electronic waste. These firms should incorporate responsibility in their policies and ensure, for example, that they do not burn plastics from these gadgets. They should ensure that they uphold a safe environment for all in the process of recycling.
Ultimately, of course, awareness should be created through educational programs on environmental consciousness as a whole, and not just electronic waste resource recovery.