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and electronic items. Again the rapid technological innovations in computing following the doubling of the processing power of chips almost every two year are rendering most of the electrical and electronic items obsolete in the blink of an eye. This coupled with changing life styles with more disposable income in littering the urban scope with the digital detritus of the digital age called E-waste. E-waste is a generic term encompassing various forms of electrical and electronic equipment that may be old, might have reached end-of-life and most importantly cease to be of any value to their present owners and it has been identified as one of the fastest growing waste streams. The electrical and electronic goods are broadly classified under three major heads; 'White goods' comprising of household appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machine, air conditioners etc.; 'Brown goods' include television, cameras, camcorders etc; and 'Gray goods' like computers, scanners, printers, mobile phones etc. Other sources of a waste are consumer and lighting equipment, electrical and electronics tools, sophisticated toys, sports equipment, medical devices, monitoring and control instruments etc. The residues of digital life are too many. Though disposed electronics are classified as waste, they are significant secondary resources due to their suitability for direct reuse, refurbishment and recycling. E-waste does not create visible mountains like municipal waste, nevertheless it is a very complex, non-biodegradable and toxic waste. Electronic and electrical appliances consist of thousands of different parts made of hundreds of different substances including plastics, metals, glass as well as organic and inorganic compounds. Compounds such as brominates flame retardants, metals like lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium compounds found in these appliances are highly dangerous persistent organic pollutants that pose health and environment risks. They bio-accumulate through the food-chain and the hazards are more acute in the event of incorrect disposal and inappropriate recycling techniques. Landfills used for waste disposal are prone to leaking and also lead to leaching of heavy metals and other toxins into the soil which may contaminate not only the soil but also the water table. Mercury, cadmium and lead are among the most toxic lactates, e.g., lead from broken glass of TV's and monitors can expose lead to leaching. Landfills are also prone to uncontrolled fires which can release toxic fumes. Disposal through incineration is also dangerous as the residual ash contains toxic metals. Incorrect recycling process such as open air incineration, acid bath leaching are commonly used for recovery of precious metals from the e-waste. Irreparable damage is done to the environment during these processes when compared to the short term monetary gains.
This lack of awareness is further aggravated by the lack of proper recycling facilities for ewaste in India. out of the total e-waste recycled in the country a mere 5% is recycled by the handful of formal recyclers and this is recycled by the informal recyclers.environment and health related. To tackle the problem of e-waste measures like sensitization of various stakeholders followed by putting in place the system to manage environmentally sound disposal of e-waste should be taken. investment required for setting up of state of the art waste management facilities. screw drivers etc. Why we should be concerned about old electronics? Why e-waste is growing? .The matters are not helped further by the fact that public at large remains unaware of their own toxic footprints and as part of its life-style replaces functional electronic gadgets with the latest model with impunity. In the absence of suitable processes and protective measures. Currently. the challenges are multifold . monitoring and reporting of the e-waste generated (setting up of centralized management reporting by item) and most importantly reconciling technological development with sustainable development. recycling e-waste results in toxic emission to the air. these activities are carried out without wearing any protective wear like masks. Furthermore. water. The final step after collection. and by the use of rudimentary techniques like burning of wires in open. segregated and the ones that cannot be sold 'as it is' are further dismantled by the informal recyclers. gloves etc. Most of the processes used by the informal recyclers are manual using simple tools like hammers. segregation and dismantling is recycling. soil and poses a serious environmental and health hazard. But they cannot match either the reach or the network of the informal recyclers used for sourcing of old electrical and electronics items from businesses as well as individual households. using acid baths for extraction of precious metals. They also adopt processes so that the work force is not exposed to toxic and hazardous substances released while recycling the waste. The items are collected. lack of awareness amongst carious stakeholders including public at large. Thus. The e-waste recycled by the formal recyclers is done following environmentally sound practices which ensures that damage is minimized to the environment.
Why e-waste is different from general municipal waste? Categories of e-waste Sources of e-waste Management of e-waste Disposal of e-waste E-waste.a global Challenge What is LCA? An Essay On The E-Waste BALDEV BISHNOI ESSAY .
Electronic waste Previous (Electronic music) Next (Electronics) Abandoned monitor and computer parts. Electronic waste. It is a point of concern considering that many components of such equipment are considered toxic and are not biodegradable. . "e-waste." or "Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment" ("WEEE") is a waste type consisting of any broken or unwanted electrical or electronic appliance.
The total amount of recycled electronic waste exceeds ten kg per capita per year. disposed electronics are a considerable category of secondary resource due to their significant suitability for direct reuse (for example. . entertainment electronics. in most cases electronic waste consists of electronic products that were used for data processing. and material recycling of its constituent raw materials (listed below).2 Other 4. While there is no generally accepted definition of electronic waste.1 Elements in trace amounts 4. mobile phones and other items that have been discarded by their original users.Contents [hide] • • • • o o o 1 Definition of electronic waste 2 Problems caused by electronic waste 3 Trends in electronic waste recycling 4 Chemical elements contained in electronic waste 4. Over the years. broken. Despite its common classification as a waste. In 1991 the first electronic waste recycling system was implemented in Switzerland beginning with the collection of refrigerators. Reconceptualization of electronic waste as a resource thus preempts its potentially hazardous qualities. telecommunications. all other electric and electronic devices were gradually added to the system.3 List of examples of devices containing these elements • • • • 5 Topics on electronic waste 6 Notes 7 Links 8 Credits Definition of electronic waste Electronic waste includes computers. There are two established PROs (Producer Responsibility Organisations): SWICO mainly handling electronic waste and SENS mainly responsible for electrical appliances. refurbishing. Legislation followed in 1998 and since January 2005 it has been possible to return all electronic waste to the sales points and other collection points free of charge. or unrepairable. many fully functional computers and components are discarded during upgrades). or entertainment in private households and businesses that are now considered obsolete.
By the end of 2006—and with one or two years' delay for the new EU members—every country has to recycle at least four kg of e-waste per capita. Kenya. mercury. electric lawnmowers etc. logistics and other services need to be implemented before a technical solution can be applied. reuse— electronic waste.) Small household appliances (toasters. it is a major source of toxins.) Office & communication (PCs.) Problems caused by electronic waste Electronic waste is a valuable source for secondary raw materials if treated properly. India. Trade in electronic waste is controlled by the Basel Convention. Delhi and Bangalore in India and Guiyu in Shantou region of China have electronic waste processing areas. and elsewhere. Rapid technology change.) Lighting equipment (mainly fluorescent tubes) E-tools (drilling machines. HiFis.The European Union is implementing a similar system described in the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE). Uncontrolled burning and disposal are causing environmental and health problems due to the methods of processing the waste.) Sports & leisure equipment (electronic toys. cadmium and a number of other substances. The toxicity is due in part to lead. refrigerators etc.) Entertainment electronics (TVs. training machines etc. if not treated properly. vacuum cleaners etc. however. low initial cost and even planned obsolescence have resulted in a fast growing problem around the globe. Due to lower environmental standards and working conditions in China. electronic waste is being sent to these countries for processing—in most cases illegally. faxes etc. A typical computer monitor may contain more than six percent lead by weight.) Medical appliances and instruments Surveillance equipment Automatic issuing systems (ticket issuing machines etc. Technical solutions are available but in most cases a legal framework. portable CD players etc. a collection system. phones. . Electronic waste is of concern largely due to the toxicity of some of the substances if processed improperly. Up to 38 separate chemical elements are incorporated into electronic waste items. The unsustainability of discarded electronics and computer technology is another reason for the need to recycle—or perhaps more practically. printers. Definition of electronic waste according to the WEEE directive: Large household appliances (ovens.
and the need for concerned and concerted action to collect and systematically process equipment are the resources most lacked—though this is changing. conventional recycling) where equipment is reverted to a raw material form. Challenges remain. That amount was adjusted on July 1. down-cycling processes (eg. The processing may be dismantling intometals. when materials cannot or will not be reused. The environmental and social benefits of reuse are several: diminished demand for new products and their commensurate requirement for virgin raw materials (with their own environmental externalities not factored into the cost of the raw materials) and larger quantities of pure water and electricity for associated manufacturing. developed policies banning CRTs from landfills. These are generally halogens added to the plastic resin.Electronic waste processing systems have matured in recent years following increased regulatory. Many of the plastics used in electronic equipment contain flame retardants. which travels up a conveyor and is dropped into the mechanical separator. and commercial scrutiny. less packaging per unit. making the plastics difficult to recycle. A typical electronic waste recycling plant as found in some industrialized countries combines the best of dismantling for component recovery with increased capacity to process large amounts of electronic waste in a cost effective-manner. The amount of the fee depends on the size of the monitor. Japan and Taiwan have already demanded that sellers and manufacturers of electronics be responsible for recycling 75 percent of them.S. Standards for both approaches vary widely by jurisdiction. plastics and circuit boards or shredding of whole appliances. Some states in the U. Early in 2003 the EU presented the WEEE and RoHS directives for implementation in 2005 and 2006. and diminished use of landfills. Trends in electronic waste recycling In the 1990s some European countries banned the disposal of electronic waste in landfills. public. Part of this evolution has involved greater diversion of electronic waste from energy intensive. South Korea. Material is fed into a hopper. The complexity of the various items to be disposed of. This diversion is achieved through reuse and refurbishing. From 2004 the state of California introduced a Electronic Waste Recycling Fee on all new monitors and televisions sold to cover the cost of recycling. whether in developed or developing countries. which is followed by a number of screening and granulating machines. cost of environmentally sound recycling systems. The entire recycling machinery is enclosed and employs a dust collection system. availability of technology to wider swaths of society due to greater affordability of products. conventional recycling or disposal via landfill often follow. Some e-waste processing is carried out within the U. and a commensurate increase inentrepreneurial interest. 2005 in order to match the real cost of recycling. . The European Union.S. This created an e-waste processing industry in Europe.
notably gold in contact plating and copper in circuitry) Topics on electronic waste Electronic Waste Recycling Fee Free Geek . In the meantime. titani um. terbium. manganese. platinum. bismuth. or will do so. followed by Maryland. indium. chromium. copper Elements in trace amounts germanium. mercury. however. nickel. americium Other silicon. aluminium. for electronic waste recycling. gallium. vanadium. rhodi um. niobium. boron.antimony. Green Computing Recycling Waste Waste types Notes 1. arsenic. California was the first state to enact such legislation. and Washington. yttrium. ruthenium. This bill has continually stalled. copper List of examples of devices containing these elements CRT Monitors (Lead in glass) Batteries (nickel-cadmium. lithium) PCBs Printed Circuit Boards (various elements. palladium.Recycling and re-using computer equipment based on the 'Free to all' philosophy. barium. The United States Congress is considering a number of electronic waste bills including the National Computer Recycling Act introduced by Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA).Many Asian countries have legislated. several states have passed their own laws regarding electronic waste management. selenium. cadmium. iron. beryllium. cobalt. Chemical elements contained in electronic waste lead. tin. europium. lithium. ↑ Umwelt Schweiz Retrieved November 11. 2006. lead. carbon. tantalum. Maine. gold. zinc. . silver.
which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution.2. Credit is due under . Where do all our gadgets go? Credits New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards.0 License (CC-by-sa). ↑ SENS. 2008. Retrieved November 11. UK WEEE Recycling Directory Basel Action Network BBC Article "Gadget recycling foxes consumers" California electronic waste fee California State Board of Equalization. Group that pays consumers for recycling cellphones Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition Solving the Electronic waste problem: a global initiative Toxics Link India Valpak WEEE Expert advice and information for the UK on the forthcoming Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations US EPA's 'eCycling' Program Canada Should Follow Europe’s Lead to Legislate' 'Squidoo. 3.com U. Computer TakeBack Campaign Eco-Cell phone recycling Ecycling Week UK university campaign aimed at raising awareness of electronic recycling Electronics Product Stewardship Canada Electronic Waste Guide Electronic Waste Guide for India Electronic Waste Guide for South Africa Greenpeace Electronic Waste Campaign Griffith University Electronic Waste Website Mandated Recycling of Electronics: A Lose-Lose-Lose Proposition Mining Cell Phones For Gold SellyourCell. 2006. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.S. Retrieved November 11. ↑ Swico. SENS. SWICO. Links All Links Retrieved October 1. 2006.
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