As technology innovators continuously innovate electronic devices to make our lives easier and more convenient. At the same time, with the increased spending on electronics products, both by consumers and businesses, the amount of e-waste or e-scrap is skyrocketing. About 50 million tons of e-waste are generated every year, among them, only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled. In Bangladesh, only 20-30% of the 3.2 MT of e-waste generated each year is recycled, and the rest is disposed of. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), e-waste may expose people to health risks as a result of leaching poisonous materials. The first electronic waste recycling system was introduced in Switzerland in 1991 with the collection of damaged refrigerators. The system was later expanded to include electric and electronic devices.
What is e-Waste or e-scraps?
E-waste or e-scraps are referred to as electronic waste. “E-waste” refers to discarded consumer and business electronic equipment that is nearing its end of life. This includes broken or damaged items that are thrown in the garbage or donated. In The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, congress addressed the concern of hazardous waste disposal for the first time. Specifically, this act establishes standards to protect human health and the environment from the toxic substances of e-waste. One of the significant purposes of the law was to certify the management of e-waste in an environmentally friendly manner.
In 2003 California established the Electronic Waste Recycling Act (Act), (SB 20, Sher, Chapter 526, Statutes of 2003) to demonstrate a funding system for the collection and recycling of certain electronic wastes. The Covered Electronic Waste (CEW) Recycling Program offers the convenience of disposing of unwanted electronics for Californians in a convenient manner.
Common E-Waste materials
Microwaves, home entertainment devices, electric cookers, heaters, and fans are common e-waste. The communication and information technology device category belongs to cell phones, smartphones, desktop computers, etc. In the home entertainment devices category, there are DVDs, Blu-Ray Players, Stereos, Televisions, Video Game Systems, Fax machines, etc.
E-Waste contains Toxic Materials
Electronic waste contains more than 1,000 different toxic and non-toxic substances. Mercury, lead, cadmium, polybrominated flame retardants, barium, and lithium are the common toxic materials that hide in electronic devices. For example: making a laptop requires rare earth metals, which are of unfriendly resources for the environment. Laptops also contain potentially toxic lead in their batteries and polyvinyl chloride in their wire coatings, which emits toxic dioxin when burned. A typical smartphone can contain up to 62 different types of metals. Among the thousand tiny parts of an Apple iPhone are gold, silver, and palladium.
Negative Effect of E-waste on Environmental & Human Health
Disposal of e-waste in landfills or other non-dumping sites poses serious health risks to the public and can pollute ecosystems. Toxic chemicals are hidden in electronics and electric devices negatively impact the earth’s air, soil, water, and ultimately, human health.
When humans are exposed to those toxic materials, these toxins harm the human brain, heart, liver, kidney, and skeletal system damage. The body’s nervous and reproductive systems can be adversely affected, resulting in disease and birth defects.
Apart from that, informally disposing of e-waste involves dismantling, shredding, or melting the materials, causing air pollution and respiratory diseases through the release of dust particles and toxins. However, heavy metal contamination in the soil leads to crops absorbing toxins, causing illnesses and preventing farmland from being productive.
Why is it important to recycle?
Protect Environment :
As we have mentioned earlier, e-waste contains hazardous toxins that harm the human body and the environmental ecosystem. According to the EPA, e-waste is also very dangerous when improperly disposed of. So, it is essential to ensure the proper management of these waste materials is not released into the environment. In addition, you might be surprised to know that using recycled items can decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Reclaiming Valuable Materials :
Many components and non-renewable sources can be excavated and concocted from unused or damaged electronic devices. It is estimated that nearly 100 percent of electronic devices can be recycled. Those materials could be utilized again to make smart appliances, mobile phones, and other devices. Sourcing materials from unused electronic devices decreases the cost of raw materials.
Jr Recycling Solutions Limited
We JR Recycling Solutions Ltd. started our journey in Bangladesh in 2011 with the motivation of working in the e-waste management sector of our country. We run activities with the motto of achieving the 3Rs, which are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, to protect the environment by implementing and innovating recycling technology for recovery. We recycle all kinds of e-waste such as home appliances (e.g., refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners); Information Technology, and Telecommunication Equipment (e.g., personal computers, laptop computers, printers, copying equipment, calculators, facsimiles, telephones, mobile phones, wireless equipment, antenna, different types of cable); Consumer Electronic Devices (e.g., televisions, radios, video cameras, audio equipment); Other Medium- and Small-Sized Electrical and Electronic Equipment (e.g., air and
water purifiers, vacuum cleaners, toasters, coffee machines, hair dryers, watches, or irons) by maintaining all kinds of environmental and personal safety precautions. For safety measures and precautions, we have achieved the Local Certifications & No Objection Certifications (NOC) from the concerned authority and also ISO/IEC: 27001:2013 & ISO: 14001:2015 certified.