The informal recycling practice refers to engaging in the open burning of wires/cables and many other electronic devices. This burning activity emits harmful toxic compounds such as dioxin and furan, causing air pollution. The e-waste recycling activities are mainly concentrated in old parts of Dhaka (Islambag, Nimtoli, Chankharpool, Waizghat, Kamrangir Char). Apart from e-wastes, a variety of small factories, particularly tannery industries, were located in these areas until 2016, making it difficult to claim that e-wastes are solely responsible for heavy metal pollution. Aside from recovery and recycling, a significant amount of e-waste is mixed with domestic solid waste and disposed of in landfills. Weathering and chemical reactions hasten the leaching of hazardous elements from e-waste, releasing them into the air, water, and soil, posing a serious threat to the environment. Atmospheric pollution caused by open burning and dismantling activities endangers the surrounding community as well as remote areas. Because contaminants can accumulate in aquatic life, agricultural lands, poultry, and livestock, environmental pollution is a major source of food chain contamination.
Resource Recovery Potential of E-Waste
If recovery of these precious metals can be performed efficiently in an environmentally friendly way, e-waste no longer remains a threat, rather, it turns into a resource. In fact, recovery of value metals from e-wastes is more efficient than mining for such metals from ores. The present action-based research project has attempted to recover a number of valuable metals such as gold, silver, copper, and tin from the printed circuit board (PCB) of cell phones and computers, and computer RAMs.
Amount of Elements Present in Different Types of PCB and RAM
|Metal Powder of Recycler (%wt)
Why is E-waste Management Important?
Licensed recyclers and exporters export a significant amount of e-wastes from Bangladesh to other countries. PCB and obsolete Telecom equipment are rich in valuable metals, to developed countries such as Singapore and Japan, which have facilities to recover precious metals from these e-wastes. Again, a significant amount of e-waste is disposed of in landfills, polluting the environment and wasting its resources. The availability of proper e-waste management and resource recovery system in Bangladesh could have allowed valuable metals to be recovered from e-waste and added value to the country’s economy. Recovery of resources from e-waste, given the right environment in terms of policy support, financial incentives, infrastructure facilities, and technology has the potential to lead to the development of a new industrial sector, and thus boost the country’s growth.
Concerns Related to Handling of Toxic Materials
- Workers who handle, dismantle, and recycle e-waste are at risk of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health hazards due to the inhalation of toxic elements such as lead, cadmium, and chromium.
- The awareness level among the workers regarding the health impacts of e-wastes is quite low, almost non-existent.
- Workers, especially children in the informal sector, carry out their recycling jobs without any safety measures or protective gear.
- Improper recycling and disposal of e-wastes pose a risk to the environment. Weathering actions and chemical reactions accelerate the leaching of hazardous elements from wastes and release those in air, water, and soil and thereby posing a serious threat to the environment
How JR Recycling Solutions Ltd. is Making an Impact
There are many e-waste recycling companies currently operating in our country, but JR Recycling Solutions Ltd has achieved some tremendous milestones through its initiatives. We recycle all the materials in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner. Our expert team doesn’t involve children in recycling items. We only use innovative technology to recycle them, through which we are actively participating in the ongoing e-waste recycling flows. You can also take part in this initiative to recover potential earnings from your resources.