REDUCE YOUR E-WASTE
“E waste and our appetite for Latest Models and New Technologies”
Annual global production of e waste is estimated to be 50 million tons and India is among top five E waste producing nations in the world with annual production of around 2 million tons.
E waste contains metals like, gold, copper silver, cadmium, selenium, and other rare earth precious metals apart from ferrous and non ferrous metals, plastic, wood and glass. In addition to housing valuable materials, electronics waste also has a dark side and contains various types of dangerous chemicals, including: lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury, and brominated flame retardants. And when disposed of in landfill, these hazardous materials eventually leach into the environment, polluting air, soil, and water thereby causing several environmental and health hazardous—as well as impacting the livelihood of people living near landfills throughout the world.
However, unscientific waste collection, processing and disposal is not only a national concern, but a part of organised crime, posing major risks to human health and the environment.
Varying definitions and classifications of waste, as well as insufficient international cooperation in monitoring, control and enforcement creates loopholes for criminal actors which majorly operate in the informal sector which contributes to the tune of 90% in E waste collections and disposal.
This unscientific collection, transportation and disposal can be reduced through coordinated efforts between formal and informal sectors, reduction in consumption, proper disposal with product trekking, awareness, cooperative audits, exchange of information and expertise and finally, the use of creative and innovative methods.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER E-WASTE DISPOSAL
From manufacturing to retail to the office building, companies and organizations are pressured to keep up with the latest and greatest technology to streamline and automate processes, protect financial data, store information, communicate with one another, and even keep bag lunches cool. It’s a dizzying pace of buying, using, and disposing of tech. Therefore it becomes more pertinent to reduce and recycle the waste scientifically with the least environment and health hazardous footprint.
1. LEVERAGE THE CLOUD
Using “the cloud” involves storing and managing data on a network of servers maintained on the internet by a third party. Cloud computing can help businesses proactively reduce e-waste by lessening the demand on hard drives, so devices will last longer—reducing the need to purchase, repair, or replace hardware as often.
For companies who may be hesitant about using the cloud, know that there is a good chance you already use cloud computing services—such as Google Drive, Gmail, or Amazon Web Services—without even knowing it.
2. USE AN ELECTRONICS WASTE COLLECTOR AND RECYCLER
The Government of India has come out with regulations as per “EPR guidelines (Extended Producers Responsibility-2016) to place the responsibility of end of product management of products on the Manufacturer or producer. To internalize the external cost associated with end of life disposal of their products.
Scientific disposal of waste becomes mandatory as per these guidelines and therefore the E waste needs to be processed in most environmentally and cost effective ways possible through designated and reputed collectors and recyclers.
3. ALIGN E-WASTE RECYCLING WITH YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
Whether it’s the time that goes into finding a solution for old electronics or lack of understanding as to which are valuable, reusable, or recyclable, enthusiasm for outgoing e-waste can be low.
However, through building excitement and educational resources around recycling e-waste, businesses may be surprised to learn that it helps promote employee buy-in and maximize recycling participation.
Engage your employees with some of the startling facts above, gamify the collection by downloading an app that shows the environmental impact you make in a year, or even reassess your consumption by auditing which machines and devices are truly in need of replacement and which can be restored or optimized.
4. DESTROY DATA DEVICES
Many managers avoid e-waste recycling because of the concern that recycling electronics may expose sensitive data. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your information before safely disposing of electronic waste, including hiring a company or consultant with this expertise to destroy your data on your devices before recycling them. Check out this list of free data destruction companies!
5. TRADE-IN TO UPGRADE
Require your team to hand in their older, empty and data-free devices the next time you're distributing new gadgets.
The good news is you’re unlikely to see any resistance—in a survey conducted with 10,000 people across the world, 45% believe that manufacturers should handle the recycling of electronics. The same research also found that consumers are particularly interested in trade-in programs, with three-quarters of them hoping to participate in such a program by 2022.
With scarce materials and heightened expectations for sustainability, there’s a strong chance the manufacturer of your business’s electronics offers an e-waste recycling program in the form of rebate, buy-back, or zero-cost collection, too.
6. DONATE TO CHARITY
For gently used but no longer wanted devices, it’s fairly hassle-free to give them a second life at local schools, non-profits, underserved populations, or community groups. Donations can help provide access to a world of knowledge and social connection that will make a huge impact, both on the planet and to the empowered individuals who inherit your electronics.
Many donation sites exist that can put your devices to good use like ewastecollector.com. As a prime example, Dell and Goodwill have partnered together since 2004 to collect more than 500 million pounds of electronics and have recently expanded the program to over 2,000 Goodwill locations.
7. CHECK-IN LOCALLY
Currently, no such initiative, like designated collection or drop off donation points, or regular household collection drive which has been mooted by any of the State Governments or Municipalities or Panchayats in spite of the guidelines of GOI.
Since the E waste collection is being devised on integrity and honesty of stakeholders. Let's be more responsible.