Currently, only about 12.5% of electronics end up getting recycled out of the 4 billion tons electronic waste found in the land fills. What are some of the most ramantic electronic waste found in the dump sites?
In America alone, about 40 million of computers and televisions are being thrown out by consumers. Mobile phones are another major contributor to the waste heap, being replaced or thrown out every 18 months by about 1.2 billion mobile cellphone users. Out of the billion units being used, 400 million have already been trashed in 2005 alone. These devices and equipment have summed up to the 4 billion tons of electronic waste each year.
Most of the consumers today fall victim to the massive production of electronics in the market. Modern people, particularly the younger generation, has been relying on electronic devices for convenience and instant solutions. The planet pays a larger price of giving in to these indulges and conveniences by having land fills full of toxic and unused resources. Electronic printed boards, gadgets, and casings can leave about amounts of lead, cadmium, chromium, zinc, copper, mercury, and nickel – these are only a few of the 100 toxins left in electronic waste.
These harmful chemicals, when not properly disposed and processed for recycling, find their way into the natural soil in the land fills. This contributions very much to soil pollution – making the earth unable to hold or grow green life and flows out to nearby water systems. These chemicals can see through the layers of soil into underground water sources that can flow into larger water bodies like rivers or lakes. Some electronic waste end up carelessly being incinerated – releasing the chemical toxins to the atmosphere. Electronic waste, when not recycled and properly recovered can become a rising problem for our green planet. And sad to say, not even the 12.5% being recycled in the 4 billion tons of electronic waste is really properly recycled.
You might end up wondering then how the 12.5% end up not being properly recycled. Although some recycling companies have become more active with the demand for recycling electronics, the waste is not assured to undergo the proper recovery processes. Countries that have large volume of e-waste usually supply the unscrupulous businesses that smuggled prohibited surplus to other countries that do not have recycling regulations. Favorite dump sites for this type of e-waste smuggling are third world countries like in China or in some parts of Africa. Although some e-waste can be repaired and can still be used by the recipient countries – the risk of recovery processes do not lessen the hazardous effects the imported e-waste can now leave to the new soil they will be inhabiting.
The solution for better e-waste recycling would be better research and investment. Research can enable funds to discover or invent a process that can make the e-waste recovery process much faster, safer, and affordable by individual homes so there is no more bulky tons of e-waste in the land fills. Proper segregation can help in most dumping sites as well. Capitalist should venture in electronics recycling so they can have a better use of their money.