Where Does All The E-Waste End Up?

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Featured Image: iStock.com/baranozdemir

The swift changes in the development of technology have made the society modernized and sophisticated. Along with the positive changes such developments have exposed us to hazardous effects including e-waste. Toxic materials are emerging from the obsolete and out of dated electronic items that are dumped in the landfills. These toxic materials include heavy metals and contaminated water with chlorinated solvents which may affect our natural resources including soil and air.

As per the estimates, America has produced up to 3m tons of electronic waste in the past few years. A study conducted by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) states that around three quarters of out of dates electronic items mainly computers are piled up as junk and then dumped in the landfills.

So much of the e-waste being generated! Where is it all going actually?

• Landfills…

Most of the electronics are dumped in the landfills, because people think that it is the easy way out to get rid of all kinds of waste especially electronic waste. In reality, it is really dangerous to fill up the landfills with the obsolete equipments because as a result they emit harmful and hazardous chemicals destroying the soil and polluting the water. Many countries are trying to take an initiative and saving all the landfills from getting polluted by such electronics but the damage is still being done by many. The highest rate of electronic waste being dumped in the landfills is taking place in China, India and Hong Kong

• Reuse, Recycle, Repeat…

Reusing electronics is not only a good idea for the surroundings but it is also beneficial for the human health too. Electronics are supposed to be used till the end of their lives and after they expire, must be given away to some responsible recycling centers where they can be used productively in any manner.

• Illegal E-Waste Export…

There are many developed countries that are continuously exporting all the electronic waste to different under developed and poor countries. All this done illegally as the concerned authorities are left unaware of such occurrings. These under developed nations do not have any sort of reliable recycling system plus their regulating bodies are not effective enough to take initiatives against such matters. According to the facts, around 47% of the electronic waste is being exported through 18 different European seaports.  Approximately 50-80% of the electronic waste from USA was collected for recycling which in reality was used for the illegal export.

European Union, along with Japan and some states in the US, started to work collectively for the purpose of recycling electronics. Sadly, it didn’t work out as expected as they were hesitant and couldn’t deal with such great volume of the hazardous waste being produced so instead they threw away all the e-waste to different countries like Nigeria, India, Bangladesh and China.

Unfortunately, many companies claim that they are accountable for recycling and they have all their concerns for the environmental issues but the sad reality is that they export away all the waste to the poor countries and eventually get rid of it. They don’t know what danger they are putting the world in whether intentionally or unintentionally.

About The Author

Kelly Sampson is a writer, blogger, and environmental enthusiast. She has strong opinions about climate change, the dogs vs. cats debate, and Oxford commas. She has lent Hummingbird International her engaging and spirited voice and turned our blog into a great place to find valuable information about e-waste, e-waste recycling, and the ITAD industry. Explore our blog to read more of her work.

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