It feels as if electronics were made to be thrown out every year, right? From mobile phones that just happen to die right when your contract is over, to televisions that become obsolete as soon as a larger, thinner version debuts. While the cost of constantly trying to keep up to date with the latest electronics is definitely steep on a household budget, there is a pretty hefty environmental cost, too, that comes along with e-waste. Most surprisingly of all, though, is the billions of dollars (literally) that goes into landfills each year by carelessly disposing of electronics. Countries are literally throwing away money every day.
Stephen Foley is looking to get his hands on some gold… the problem is that it takes too much time, costs too much money and harms the environment.The work of his research team—made up of Loghman Moradi, research associate, and Hiwa Salimi, PhD student— changes all of that.”We’ve found a simple, cheap and environmentally benign solution that extracts gold in seconds, and can be recycled and reused,” said Foley, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry. “This could change the gold industry.”
E-Waste Recyclers Being Squeezed by Low Quantities & Low Prices « Recycling « Waste Management World
Difficult market conditions are currently being faced by the Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling sector, delegates to this year’s International Electronics Recycling Congress IERC 2016 have heard.
WEEE ewaste Recycling Markets & PolicyImage ©You may also be interested in thisALBA IWS Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for WEEE Recycling PlantVIDEO: First E-Waste Recycling Facility n Hong Kong Under ConstructionsRAL CO2OL-PRINT Tool for Fridge Recycling FirmsIN DEPTH: RAL Tool for Calculating Fridge Recycling Carbon Reductions Explainedaverda Dubai Signs E-Waste Contract with Municipality‘Smart’ Bins Deployed to Collect E-Waste in DubaiDifficult market conditions are currently being faced by the Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling sector, delegates to this year’s International Electronics Recycling Congress IERC 2016 have heard.
Reducing E-Waste Through Purchasing Decisions · Environmental Leader · Environmental Management News
Reducing e-waste not only conserves resources and keeps toxins out of the environment, it also saves money in waste management costs — and can help firms avoid costly compliance fees as a result of illegally storing or disposing of e-waste.
Machine Design offers five strategies to reduce e-waste. These include upgrading hardware or software instead of purchasing new devices, and selling or donating old electronics that still work.
‘Product development shouldn’t be hard,’ asserts Nascent Objects’ founder and ceo Baback Elmieh after pairing cutting-edge 3D printing and modular electronics with user-friendly software to ensure devices can be constantly reused.
Cable television giant Comcast Corp. has agreed to pay the state of California $25.95 million to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully disposed of electronics, including remote controls, modems, splitters and routers.
At a vast dumpsite in the west of Ghana’s capital Accra, small fires burn among piles of old computers, television screens and laptops, throwing plumes of thick black smoke into the air. Around them workers pick out motherboards, valuable metals and copper wires, burning away the plastic casings as they go – filling the air with toxic fumes.
This is one of the biggest dumps for electronic waste in the world, and among the most polluted places on earth. Every year hundreds of thousands of tonnes of e-waste find their way here from Europe and North America, where they are stripped of their valuable metals in the crudest form of recycling.
Comcast may be the latest company to illegally dump its e-waste — resulting in a $25.95 million settlement with the state of California — but its not alone in its “careless and unlawful” e-waste disposal practices, which put people and the environment at risk.Less than one-sixth of last year’s e-waste is thought to have been diverted to proper recycling and reuse, according to the United Nations University, the UN’s think tank, which says global e-waste topped 41.8 million metric tons of electrical and electronic products in 2014.
Last month, the newest iPhone became available for purchase. According to Apple, in just three days more than 13 million units of their newest gadget had been sold around the world. It’s highly unlikely that 13 million individuals needed brand-new phones, but the culture of electronics encourages constant updates: Newer is better, and a better option is always right around the corner. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average phone is replaced every 18 months, and we don’t always think about what happens to technology once it’s out of our hands.
When getting rid of electronic waste also falls to facilities management, there’s ample opportunity to make choices that are better for the environment, better for the business’s bottom line, and better for data security. There are also significant risks you need to address. Make no mistake – the organization is vulnerable when electronic waste is not handled properly.
According to the recent “Global E-Waste Monitor 2014”, compiled by UN think tank the United Nations University (UNU), India is the fifth-largest e-waste producer in the world, churning out 1.7 million tonnes of the stuff every year out of the world’s total production of 41.8 million tonnes. This may not be such a bad thing at first glance. After all, the US and China are the biggest polluters, totalling 32 percent of e-waste in the world compared to India’s roughly 5 percent. (The top per capita churners of this stuff are all European countries, such as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, and the UK.)
The toxicity of e-waste is one of the biggest concerns. Hazardous chemicals associated with electronics include polyvinyl chlorides, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and lead, just to name a few. And when e-waste byproducts leach into ground water, are burned, or get mishandled during recycling, bad things can happen. Health problems associated with such toxins include impaired mental development, cancer, and damage to the lungs, liver, and kidneys.
Nowadays, electronic devices are doing more than just sensing and displaying data. They also listen, speak, measure, illuminate and collaborate with other electronics, making up a class of products called the Internet of Things, connected devices or sometimes wearables. Connected devices show huge potential for resource efficiency and better quality of life. A smart window-shade and air-conditioning system in communication with each other can heat and cool a building using less energy while increasing the comfort of its occupants. But this new frontier has a big consequence: The more everyday products contain electronics, the more e-waste will be produced.E-waste refers to electronic devices that have reached the end of their useful lives. With more of our products becoming e-waste, we must rethink the life cycles of our smart electronics and the materials we use to build them.
Discarded smartphones and other gadgets are poisoning the environment and people in developing countries, where most of the world’s electronic waste (e-waste) is being dumped illegally and now involves criminal gangs, the UN’s environment arm warned in a May 12 report.
PCs and smartphones adding to ‘e-waste mountain’ that could reach 50m tonnes by 2017, much of it dumped and traded in developing countries
According to the report, “Global E-Waste Monitor 2014,” the e-waste problem is growing fast, thanks to increasing demand for, and shortening useful lives of, electrical and electronic products. At the same time, relatively little is recycled or reused, so huge amounts of valuable materials end up landfilled or in developing countries, where lax standards create huge environmental and health hazards. By illustrating how much e-waste is produced worldwide, where it’s generated and its fate, the report seeks to showcase the tremendous opportunities for recyclers, reusers and take-back programs to turn trash to treasure.
While the negative impact of e-waste is vast and growing, most people are probably unaware of its reach. The lack of proper recycling leads to harmful toxins like lead and mercury leaching into the environment. Harmful materials like these and many others found in e-waste, cause all sorts of health issues like neurological damage, kidney damage and some cancers, to name a few. And let’s not forget about the ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons left behind.
GENEVA— May 4, 2015. Over the next two weeks, 1,500 representatives from 180 countries will seek ways to reduce risks from hazardous chemicals and waste through the sustainable management of these potentially life-threatening substances.
The Vietnam Recycling Platform (VRP), a consortium initially founded by HP and Apple announced a new initiative for the recycling of e-waste. The program – named Vietnam Recycles – is a free take- back program for used or defective electronic products with an aim to ensure their safe and environmentally sound recycling. Continue reading