When you throw your electronics in the trash, do you ever wonder where they end up?
E-waste is growing, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the heavy reliance on using new, well-functioning electronics. Plus, there are constant upgrades in technology that have created a growing challenge across the globe! The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 reported that the world dumped a record of 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste within the last year, this is an increase of 21% in the last 5 years! If we were to put all the current e-waste into a straight line, it would be approximately 125 kilometres long.
With that said, you need to think twice about where you dispose of your electronics, as e-waste is now considered one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the world. Failing to address this issue could lead to a global total of 74.7 million tonnes of e-waste by 2030, almost doubling the annual amount of e-waste in just 16 years.
Not sure how to properly dispose of your e-waste? Our team at Manville can take care of that! For now, we’re going to leave you with some best practices that you can follow in contribution of creating a cleaner earth!
What is E-Waste?
EOL electronic devices, also known as e-waste and e-scrap, can include computer equipment, stereos, televisions, and mobile phones. Although these items can be refurbished or recycled, a significant amount still ends up in the landfill which poses large health and environmental risks.
Why You Need to Care About Recycling Electronics
It’s a Rich Source of Raw Materials
Did you know that 10-15 percent of the gold in e-waste is successfully recovered while the rest is lost? According to the United Nations, e-waste actually contains pieces of precious metal estimated to be between 40 and 50 times richer than the ores mined from earth!
Computers and other electronics contain countless chemicals and materials that are hazardous to the environment. Some toxic substances include lead, mercery, cadmium, chromium and other heavy metals and potentially toxic flame retardants. When you throw e-waste in your trash can, over time, electronics will leak elements like mercury and lead into the environment, and quickly becomes exposed to humans.
Where the E-Waste Ends Up
Unfortunately, most of the world’s e-waste that isn’t processed through a certified electronics recycler ends up in 3rd world countries.
These countries aren’t aware or equipped enough to address the environmental issues presented with improperly disposed e-waste. Chemicals from e-waste will pollute their water supplies, which can poison the residents and livestock living nearby a dumpsite. Also, when poorer countries don’t process the e-waste correctly after recovering precious metals, burning the rest of the materials in open air causes air pollution. Two necessities that we all need to survive become completely contaminated.
What You Can Do to Help
Think of the recycling hierarchy – reduce, reuse and recycle. Before you decide to dispose of your electronics, first consider donating the equipment that can be refurbished and reused. For example, you can donate still-working electronics to local schools in your area.
There are also tech thrift shops and organizations who collect these items including independently operated Free Geek locations across Canada. Free Geek refurbishes technology and offers it to the public for free or at a low cost.
If It’s Broken, here’s how to recycle it:
Recycling e-waste differs in each province and territory. Some locations you can dispose of your electronics can include:
- Special collection events (ex. Events arranged on Earth Day).
- Retailers with “return to retail” Recycling initiatives such as those offered by Staples, Office Depot or BestBuy.
Let us help you!
Last but not least, if you’re recycling e-waste, make sure to contact the team at Manville to collect your items and ensure that they don’t end up in a landfill. As a certified Electronic Recycler, we make sure that your scrap metal gets processed in factories where they melt it down to commodity grade material that is used to produce new products.
We work to increase the usability of our existing resources in order to create less demand for new resources. How do we do this? Simple – by making it easy for you to be part of creating a sustainable difference. With us, you can have peace of mind knowing that we have taken all the necessary steps to preserving our tomorrow.