Do you ever wonder what happens to all your broken cell phones, TVs, PCs, and other electronic devices that you throw away? If you do then you must be aware of the fact about how electronic garbage are just dumped in developing countries like China, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh where environmental laws are not stringent enough. The most affected are the poverty inflicted African countries where the e-waste is just burnt.
Well, even in developed countries where there are strict government imposed environmental laws, eco-activists are afraid that the workers are not taking enough care during recycling and disposal. Electronic devices like CRTs contain harmful chemicals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, beryllium, and brominated flame retardants, furans, and dioxins that are fatal for humans. Incinerator ashes and leaching of heavy metals from landfills must be done very safely otherwise it could affect the communities of workers who are doing the job for generations.
Since technology has improved like never before and people are always longing to buy the newest gadgets in town, e-waste is increasing rapidly in number too. The costs of the electronic devices have also decreased as the demands are rising. All these reasons contribute to the problem and hence finding an effective solution is the need of the moment. Only a very small percentage that is about 15-20% is recycled, the other e-waste is just dumped into landfills and incinerators. Do you know that approximately 70% of heavy metals that are chucked in landfills are electronic wastes that are discarded?
Greenpeace International a worldwide environmental organization suggests that one efficient way to lessen the amount of e-waste is to increase the longevity of the device. But this is just what the manufacturer can do. Government should involve a great deal in disposing the electronic garbage effectively. What you can do is to use only electronic products that are recyclable and biodegradable. Just look for the “Energy star” or “Green Seal” mark on the products.