I’ll provide you with everything you need to know about eco-friendly recycling.
A Guide to Eco-Friendly Recycling
In this present time and age, it’s okay to say that we are living in a rapid technological growth era. Advancements in technology coupled with numerous everyday inventions have brought about lots of change to our way of life and operations. Today, electronic devices are the order of the day, and eco-friendly recycling of e-wastes is thus inevitable.
From phones, computers, home appliances, transport, infrastructure and more, every facet of life has dramatically changed, and it’s no more life as usual. The growth in technology has made life so much fun although it has also come with some adverse effects on the environment.
Disposal of such gadgets is increasing rapidly with each passing day. All kind of gadgets and appliances are filling up our landfills as people replace their devices to keep up with the ever-changing technology.
This is not safe and thus, we must think of a safer disposal method that will ensure sanity for us and the future generations. If you want to dispose effectively, you’ll want to visit this website.
Recycling is one of the best ways to get rid of old gadgets in an eco-friendly way. This article is a comprehensive guide to eco-friendly recycling. Before we look at the recycling process, let’s first look at what consists of e-waste.
So, what is e-waste?
E-waste, also known as e-scrap, is the trash usually produced from obsolete or broken electronic devices. E-waste includes all those electronic devices and gadgets, such as phones, laptops, home theaters, fridges and more that we discard for disposal, recycling or resale.
The number of appliances that fall under e-waste is exponentially high which makes the number of e-waste items that need disposal rise enormously. E-waste requires careful disposal to avoid harming the environment as most of them contain components that can be hazardous.
Environmentally friendly recycling of e-wastes not only given us a clean and safe environment but also creates numerous jobs around the globe. The most recycled elements include copper, gold, plastic, bronze, iron and many others.
Things like bottled water need to be recycled effectively.
One of the things that come in mind when referring to e-waste is the e-waste health risk. These are health risks associated with human contact with hazardous materials such as chromium, lead, brominated flame retardants, cadmium and toxic fumes among others.
So, let’s now look at what comprises e-waste recycling.
Definition of E-waste Recycling
E-waste recycling is the process of salvaging materials from electronic old devices to be reused as new gadgets or reprocessed to make new ones. It may involve reusing the whole device or parts of it depending mostly on the extent of damage or age.
Items that go through the recycling process include televisions, air conditioners, computers, mobile phones, laptops, batteries, as well as other electronic utilities like lighting, leisure, and sporting equipment.
Eco-friendly recycling of e-waste is very crucial because of the many dangers it may pose to the environment and its inhabitants. It is vital to understand how to recycle the increasing amounts e-waste for a better tomorrow efficiently.
Here is the eco-friendly step-by-step process:
The Eco-friendly Recycling Process
Although the process of electronics recycling is essential, it sometimes becomes challenging due to the complexity of the materials used. Most of them contain different components like glass, plastics, metal, which may complicate the process.
Nevertheless, this must be done to ensure a healthy environment for everyone.
So, below are some general steps of the electronics recycling process that many recycling companies follow:
Collection and shipping
These are the initial stages of the whole process whereby the e-waste is collected from the individual points and transported to the recycling plants. The recyclers usually place collection bins in different locations and collect the waste regularly for recycling.
Shredding, sorting, and separation
In the recycling plant, the e-waste material is first separated and processed into clean, reusable items. They are then sorted, shredded and separated based on the components of the gadgets. The shredded material helps to sort out and separate the various material components like plastic, metal, glass and more.
After shredding, the material is passed under a powerful magnet using a conveyor to help separate iron and steel from the other e-waste. E-waste materials like copper, aluminum and circuit boards are then separated from the stream through a further mechanical process.
Most of the remaining material stream at this point is plastic and glass. A water separation mechanism helps in further separation. Additional handpicking and visual inspection help enhance the separation process.
The final step in this stage is an advanced separation that involves removing any remaining metals from the plastic to sufficiently purify the material stream.
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Preparation for sale
The last stage in the e-waste recycling process consists of the preparation of the separated materials for resale. These materials are then sold for use as a raw material in producing new gadgets. The company then gathers the elements that remain for final proper disposal.
See Related: How to Find the Right Recycling Center
Three Different Channels of E-waste Disposal
There are three different core ways for e-waste disposal.
Take to collection points in designated areas
A wide range of companies offers recycling services for e-waste material. Different vendors provide collection points where you can put your e-waste for collection. However, it’s always good to research the companies you chose to ensure they are certified.
Some vendors may take the e-waste, remove the valuable components and dump the rest in landfills. It then makes it essential to know the vendor well for the e-waste collection point you choose.
If the vendors don’t dispose of the waste materials properly, they may end up in landfills in developing countries or other impoverished regions in the globe. If these materials then get melted or burned as a means of disposal, they release harmful chemicals and fumes into the atmosphere.
Illegal and unsafe dumping of e-waste materials will affect everyone even those who are not there personally in the dumping sites. Different toxins from the mismanaged landfills may end up in waterways and oceans which may also harm the sea and the ocean life.
How to choose a drop-off location
Certified collection of e-waste and disposal incur costs, and therefore, different approved vendors will charge you for collection. This may be a good indicator for genuine and non-genuine vendors although there are still reputable vendors who will pay you for your staff.
Two certification programs that are the most commonly known and which you can check for include:
- R2: Responsible Recycling© Certification
- E-Stewards Certification
These two programs are recognized and accepted by the EPA and ensure that recycling companies undertake responsible practices for the recycling of e-waste.
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Some companies purchase faulty or broken electronic items directly
Apart from disposing your e-waste into the designated areas, some companies will buy these items directly. If your e-waste includes electronics like computers, laptops, phones, tablets and more, you can decide to get some value out of it. If you want to change your old gadget for a new one without necessarily taking it to the collection points, you can always get someone to pay you for it.
One of the best websites that you can visit for this purpose, which also happens to be my favorite, is SellBroke.
This website buys old and obsolete electronic devices like phones, tablets, computers and other electronics mostly for recycling. They use eco-friendly recycling methods to protect and preserve the natural environment.
The benefits that come with selling your devices can include:
- You will get the best value for your gadget or electronic items.
- They offer free shipping for the items. That is, they send you a pre-paid shipping label through email to cater for shipping.
- They use eco-friendly recycling processes. Thus you can rest assured that your e-waste is in the best hands.
- They buy all electronics whether it’s a broken laptop, iPhone, tablets or any other broken electronic device.
Sell to scrap metal dealers
Another channel of e-waste disposal is selling them to scrap metal dealers. Some gadgets can fetch you a few dollars if you take them to a scrap yard near you.
The dealers will buy the ones that are fit for them and thus this is also an excellent way to get rid of some e-wastes.
See Related: How to Recycle Your Brita Water Filters
Benefits of Eco-friendly and E-Waste Recycling
Proper and responsible recycling of e-waste has many advantages, more than anyone can imagine. Some of these benefits include:
- It saves a lot of valuable materials which would otherwise have gone to waste. Based on a report from EPA, we can save electricity energy that can help run 3,657 households in the US for a year just by recycling a million laptops.
- EPA also indicates that 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, as well as 35,274 lbs of copper, is recovered when we recycle a million cell phones.
- Eco-friendly recycling helps preserve our environment including lakes, rivers, oceans and the atmosphere.
- By protecting the environment, it is a guarantee to us that our invention and technology will not be the start of our end.
- The recycling process acts as a source of affordable raw material for the production of new items.
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Conclusion on Eco-Friendly Recycling
Eco-friendly recycling of e-waste is an essential practice in today’s world that must not be ignored. I hope this piece has given you enough insights into the process of how to efficiently recycle the e-waste and its amazing benefits.
Live a sustainable life.
What do you think about eco-friendly recycling? Please let us know in the comments below.
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