The benefits of recycling e-waste are easy to identify. We live in a world where almost everyone owns an electronic gadget. New electronic devices require a lot of energy and resources to create. Rapid changes and improvements in electronic gadgets means older ones are discarded, and become e-waste. As reported by the U.N., 6.3 million tons of e-waste is generated in the USA alone on an annual basis. Imagine the amount of energy and resources wasted and the large landfills occupied, rendering land useless for decades.
To conserve energy, resources, and save space that landfills cover recycling electronic waste becomes a necessity. To better understand the positive impact of recycling e-waste, let us look at the following six benefits.
Benefits of Recycling E-Waste
1. Save Landfill Space
Electronic waste is being thrown into landfills at an increasing rate each year. This problem is prevalent not only in the USA, but is quickly spreading around the world. Throwing e-waste into landfills creates many environmental issues.
For example, the metals used in electronic gadgets such as iron, aluminum, and gold erode and release harmful toxins in the soil. Similarly, the plastic in these gadgets can release poisonous toxins into the soil. Toxins of this polluted soil kill all kinds of plants and microorganisms living on that land. It destroys their ecosystems and worsens the health of the environment. In the worst-case scenario, the poison spreads in the soil and eventually seeps into water sources.
When e-waste is recycled it is not disposed of in a landfill, instead the components of electronic gadgets are separated. Experts determine whether they are reusable or not.
Non-recyclable components are disposed of properly so their harmful impact on the environment is reduced and recoverable e-waste components are used to create new products.
Keeping e-waste out of landfills reduces the space a landfill occupies, it also means fewer microorganisms and plants are disturbed.
2. Save Natural Resources
As per studies, 98% of components in an electronic device are recyclable. Metals extracted through mining require much difficulty and effort. Apart from mining, the cost to refine metals and transform them to a usable form is also very high. Through the extraction and reuse of metal from old electronic gadgets, the need to manufacture and refine raw metals decreases.
Wires and other components of electronic devices made of aluminum and copper can be reused multiple times. Reutilizing them in other electronic devices means little to no material goes to waste. Hence, the need to mine, extract and manufacture more metal reduces.
Electronic gadgets have many components made of glass. For example, the screen of any PC, laptop, television, smartphone, or any other electronic device is made up of high-quality glass.
Manufacturing glass from scratch requires a lot of energy. Manufacturers reuse glass from old electronics so it does not go to waste. This also saves time and money manufacturing new glass.
Recycling e-waste means that natural resources such as metals aren’t wasted and the energy and cost required to manufacture and mine them are also saved.
3. Increase in Employment
Only experts can deal with electronic waste properly. Distinguishing between reusable and non-reusable materials is a task that requires a sharp eye and a lot of product knowledge. There are a lot of jobs in the field of recycling. There are many experts out there that have professional degrees regarding the recycling of electronic waste. Increased education about electronics recycling means more people recycle and more jobs are created.
By recycling e-waste, several people get a job. More jobs mean financial stability for our communities. The overall economy of the United States gets a boost. Eventually, it results in the prosperity of the whole nation.
4. Increases Affordability
In many cases, people want to get rid of an electronic device not because it has stopped working, but because they want to buy one with the latest technology. If they give their old gadgets to charity or sell them in a second-hand-shop, other people who cannot afford to buy new electronic devices can easily buy them. Always remember, you may not need an electronic gadget, but it could be of the utmost importance to someone else!
Many schools in America accept used electronic devices and utilize them to teach their students. Hundreds of charities exist throughout the States that take e-waste from people and deliver them to different parts of the world for reuse.
Recycling e-waste increases the opportunity for people who do not have access to such devices to use and own them.
5. Removes Data Appropriately
Keeping data safe is becoming an increasingly important issue throughout the world. In most cases, people assume because they have deleted files from their computer, they no longer exist on the computer. But that is not always the case. Permanently removing data from a mobile phone and computer requires special software and proper strategy. Ensuring the appropriate removal of data is mandatory before getting rid of the electronic device. People caught breaking recycling laws or data security regulations face legal implications.
It is vital to recycle electronic gadgets through proper e-waste channels. They take extreme care of the customer data. They follow appropriate steps to extract data, and then they remove it without leaving a trace.
6. Saves the Environment
Earth gives millions of resources to us every day. And what do we do with them? We utilize those resources in such a way that it destroys the environment and hurts the ecosystems of Earth. To prevent that from happening, take a few simple steps while getting rid of e-waste. Toxic and harmful poisons are reduced because green gas emissions are decreased and plastic is not thrown into the sea thereby improving marine life. Do not forget, we are a part of the environment, and all the toxic material coming out of the e-waste is harmful to us as well. These toxins from e-waste are partially responsible for diseases such as cancer in human beings as well as animals.
Consumers must be responsible and protect the environment by recycling e-waste. To save our future generations from an unhealthy environment or before completely losing natural habitats.
Environmentalists repeatedly inform us about the importance of recycling e-waste and the consequences our future generations may have to face if we are not careful from today onwards. The benefits of recycling e-waste are numerous. But saving environment from being destroyed further is the most important benefit. Adopting a healthy habit of recycling e-waste by every individual makes a large difference in the longer run. No matter how small your effort may seem, recycling e-waste should be considered an absolute necessity!