Electronic Waste Management

We have heard the word waste management often now. There are several different kinds of wastes and different ways to manage each of these cialis online pharmacy waste. We will talk about electronic waste management here.

WEEE (Waste from Electronic and Electrical Equipment) comprises a range of electronic and electrical products and components. It basically includes all loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, broken electrical or electronic appliances. Other terms used for the same are electronic waste, e-waste, and e-scrap. Electronic products have become an integral part of our life. Each day a new electronic gadget is launched in the market which is better than already existing ones in one way or the other. Thus people keep on buying new electronic gadgets and replacing old ones. The question now is “What happens to the discarded electronic gadgets?” Most of the electronic gadgets that we use in our daily life for example mobile phones and computers have components which have harmful substances such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants etc. Therefore when the recycling and final disposal of electronic gadgets and components is not done by taking proper care and precautions it is known to adversely affect public health and the environment. How is electronics waste management done?

The problem of e-waste affects both developing and developed countries. Researchers are trying to come up with new ways of managing e-waste. The most important factor is the role of the consumers. Consumers should make sure that the electronic waste produced by them is dumped safely. As per the Electronic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, e-waste must be routed to one of 73 authorised recyclers in India. The awareness about the new guidelines and their implementation might take time to reach out among the people.

There are four major ways of managing e-waste which are as follows-

Landfilling: In this method a ditch is dug in the soil and the soil is excavated from it. The e-waste is then buried in the ditch and then covered by a thick layer of soil. This is one of the most widely used methods of disposing off e-waste. The e-waste takes a lot of time to be degraded in this case as the process of degradation in the case of landfills is very complex and take a long time. However, disposal of e-waste by landfilling is not entirely safe for the environment as certain metals like cadmium can leach into the soil and ground water.

Incineration

In this process controlled and complete combustion of e-waste is carried out in which the waste material is burned in specially designed incinerators at a high temperature (900-1000oC). The main benefit of incineration of e-waste is the reduction of waste volume and the utilization of the energy content of combustible materials. Some of the recycling plants remove iron from the slag for recycling purposes. During incineration some environmentally hazardous organic substances are converted into less hazardous compounds. The main problem with incineration is the emission to air of substances escaping flue gas cleaning and the large amount of residues from gas cleaning and combustion.
Recycling of e-waste

Many electronic devices like music players, laptops, monitors, keyboards, modems, mobile phones, hard drives, printers, CPUs, memory chips, connecting wires etc can be recycled. E-waste recycling plants are now in almost all the small areas of the developed country and gaining popularity in developing countries as well. In recycling various parts of e-waste containing dangerous substances like PCB, Hg, cadmium, plastic,  CRT, ferrous and non-ferrous metals are dismantled and separated. For this strong acids are used to remove precious metals such as copper, lead, gold. It is important that organized and formal methods of recycling are used otherwise the recyclers working in hazardous conditions might be severely affected by the dangerous chemicals and fumes. If all proper precautions are taken while recycling it is the best way to dump e-waste.

Re-use

This implies the directly selling the product for second hand use or use after slight modifications to the original functioning electronic or electrical equipments for example laptops, computers, mobile phones etc.  This reduces the volume of e-waste generation and makes electronic equipments affordable for people who can’t buy a first-hand product.

All these methods should be implemented with proper care. There are many citizen driven waste management initiatives to like “Do not Waste, Donate your Waste” / “Kachra Daan, Karo Kalyan” . You should always pass on your electronic waste to a state or central government certified e-waste recycling organization like E-Parisaraa Pvt. Ltd, SAI electronic recyclers etc. There many e-waste management companies like REVIVE which help big corporate firms to manage their e-waste. MAIT(Manufacturers Association of IT Equipments) has taken the initiative to promote e-Waste awareness amongst manufacturers and corporate firms. This has triggered most corporate firms in India to formulate an e-Waste policy and have volunteered to do its best to promote safe disposal and create clean e-Waste channels. Corporate firms like NOKIA and Wipro have started their own recycling initiatives to help the cause. Internationally, the UN has formed a step (Solve The e-Waste Problem) committee to help curb the e-Waste dumping issues and disposal problems.

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3 responses to Electronic Waste Management


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