Published on : Mar 16, 2016
Among the several entities whose recycling has become a major issue for the world, electronics makes for a very complex sector. There are many factors that make electronics difficult for recycling, including the very first fact that most electronic substances that the world consumes right now is not designed for suitable recycling in the very first place. The materials and physical designs of electronic products make their recycling a big challenge.
Another major factor that makes the proper and safe recycling of electronics a major problem is the amount of toxic materials included in most electronic products. Though several electronics vendors claim to offer green products, the world is still far away from truly green products, let alone electronics.
Another major issue with the recycling of electronics is the poor management of discarded electronics. Most of the e-waste generated on the global front still goes in landfills. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that nearly 3.4 mn tons of e-waste was generated in the U.S., out of which only 25% was collected for recycling. The remaining 75% found its way to incinerators and landfills. This is happening despite the rising awareness among the general population about the fact that a variety of hazardous chemicals contained in electronic waste can leach out of the landfills into groundwater and directly impact health of living organisms.
There is a hard truth about the meagre 25% e-waste that is being collected for recycling. It is projected that most of this e-waste is exported instead of being actually recycled. A large amount of e-waste collected by recycling firms is directly shipped to underdeveloped or developing countries where it is dismantled under horrific conditions, posing serious harm to the health of people, land, water, and air.
It is thus highly essential that the in the coming years, proper management and innovative efforts take place in the field of electronic recycling. Otherwise the alarmingly mounting e-waste across the globe, which currently represents only a 4% of the total global mass of landfills but embodies a staggering 75% of environmentally hazardous waste, will become another issue that the world will not have an answer to.