E-Waste Management: From Problems to Solutions

E-Waste Management: From Problems to Solutions

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We all remember watching movies with post-Apocalyptic storylines, but do you remember the background it is set in? 

Does this look familiar?

The picture above, however, is not a shot from the post-Apocalyptic world, but it is our reality right now!

How scary is that? All the years of technological advancements have led to an increase in E-Waste. One of many problems of the waste is when you throw the electronic devices, dead cells and batteries in the garbage it results in contamination of underground water leaving it unfit for direct consumption. That just being the tip of the iceberg – the problems of e-waste disposal!

What is E-Waste?

As the name suggests Electronic waste, is a term used to refer the electronic products that are no longer functioning and have become unwanted, that have essentially reached the end of their useful life.

Technology is ever advancing, there is a new product every month, and people want to constantly stay up-to-date with the latest trending techs. Where do you think all your old gadgets go?

Figure 1https://tcocertified.com/news/global-e-waste-reaches-record-high-says-new-un-report/

It is essential that we responsibly dispose of this e-waste because they have a number of harmful elements that, as we discussed previously react with air and water that lead to problems such as water, air, and soil pollution

This e-waste needs proper methods of disposing, and there have been companies set-up just for this (mentioned later in the blog)

Effect Of E-Waste on Humans

When our cell phones fail to go through a proper method of recycling they end up in landfills, like other waste. Which ultimately causes negative effects to nearly every system in the human body, some of which are:

Lead: Causes damage to the reproductive, blood and nervous systems.

Mercury:  Exposure can contribute to brain and kidney damage.

Arsenic: Low levels of exposure to it can cause negative impacts on skin, liver, nervous and respiratory systems.

Cadmium: It has been linked to kidney damage.

Chlorine: Exposure to improperly disposed ­­­­chlorine causes tissue damage and the destruction of cell structure.

Bromine: Itcontributes to the disruption in the thyroid hormone balance, brain damage and cancer.

Effect Of E-Waste on Environment

Air Pollution

While we cannot stress enough on how important it is to donate your e-waste to people who can manage it, it’s also important that you know some of these “processing plants” are not ethically run – or safe.

Some e-waste traffickers will burn open computer wires to get to the copper inside which is a valuable commodity. The release of hydrocarbons from burning the copper to acquire the gold-plated computer chips aids in the emission of brominated dioxins and heavy metals.

Water Pollution

Contents from Cathode ray tubes, that are often found in older televisions, video cameras and computer monitors are often broken apart, the yoke removed, and the shell dumped.

Lead and barium, from these shells could leach through the soil and into the ground water of local communities. This not only endangers people who drink and bathe with this water but also the different species of wildlife that rely on the water to sustain.

Soil Pollution

According to a study, it is found that toxic particles seep into the soil, which is one of the most common ways that heavy metals enter the human body.

Treating E-Waste

India even with all its technical advancement is still ill-equipped in legislation and skilled labors to handle e-waste recycling.

As of now, there have been no proper methods that have been implemented even in the first world to eliminate or deal with the problem of e-waste. The two methods we’ve found interesting for proper treatment of e-waste are recycling and refurbishing.

But there are several products that cannot be recycled completely like PVC layers that remain the same for ages too come. To avoid this, we need to compel manufacturers to use green elements that can be easily recycled and aren’t harmful to the environment too.

If it’s possible to salvage electronics and refurbish them, they can be sold at a lower price. Thus, being helpful to both society and the environment

E-waste Management Goa

We (Imagine Works) as an IT company, have our share of E-waste and due too little to no awareness, it is difficult to dispose of the waste responsibly.

Being based in Goa, we have managed to find two companies that can help us (and you) with our E-waste:

Group TenPlus

The name was given on founding principle: ‘When you rate something as good, you give it a ten. We go beyond.’

Group TenPlus was born in January 2010. Founded by Ashley Delaney, it was Goa’s first and only company that dealt with the collection and disposal of electronic waste, commonly called e-waste.

Global Waste Management

“In order to conserve natural resources and the energy needed to produce new electronic equipment from virgin resources, electronic equipment can be refurbished, reused, and recycled instead of being land-filled.”

They’re leading e-Waste recyclers in India. Founded by Prabhu Soham, it comprises of an expert team that has expertise necessary for disposing e Wastes in a globally acceptable manner.

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