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The advent of technology has had a lot of side-effects on the psyche of our society. But the effects are not limited to the culture and social fabric of societies across the world. E-waste, a largely unseen side effect of the tech revolution, has had a strong effect on the environment also. This has caused concern around the world and major governments have passes laws to regulate the disposal of electronic waste. Also, there has been a demand for eco-friendly technology and eco-friendly technology services.
E-waste: Numbers Don’t Lie
Half a billion computers were scrapped in the US between 1997 and 2007. The number of mobiles dumped into landfills is even bigger. According to the stats by EPA, 423000 tons of PCs were trashed in 2010, out of which only 168,000 were recycled. 152,000,000 units of mobile phones were disposed during the same time, out of which only 11% (17,400,000) were recycled. All the others were
What’s the Big Problem?
IT equipment is always changing, and users always opt for a newer version of hardware. This makes the existing IT equipment obsolete. Not much attention has been paid to eco-friendly technology, and most computer and mobile hardware end up in landfills, or it finds its way to developing countries where underage children strip the different components to find something useful, or to extract poisonous (but profitable) chemicals from the equipment.
Not only does the creation of monitors, mobiles, CPUs, CDs, DVDs and other IT equipment necessitate the use of precious natural resources, but getting rid of the same equipment once it is obsolete is also harmful to the environment. The best way to deal with all the e-waste is recycling; however, most of the times, the waste is simply thrown into a landfill.
High levels of chemicals like lead, mercury, and cadmium are present in all the IT equipment and they pollute the land and create problems for people living in the neighborhood. Even if the landfill is located in a deserted area, the chemicals may pollute the ground water.
Eco-Friendly Technology and Services
There is a simple way in which all the e-waste can be used for the benefit of humanity. There are four ways in which this can be done: reusing, refurbishing, recovering and recycling.
It is possible to use the discarded IT equipment. While one user may not be happy with a supposedly outdated version of a particular hardware, there are many other who would be happy to lay their hands on it. While it may not be possible to reuse a CPU that has stopped working, other equipment like monitors, mouse and keyboards can be easily reused.
Refurbishing is extremely important. Most top-notch IT equipment makers trash goods that have the slightest defect. The scrapped equipment is almost as good as new, and by refurbishing them, it is possible to make them perfect. There are lots of people in the market who happily buy refurbished products. Eco-friendly technology services can also help recover useable equipment from waste. These reusable goods can be recycled, reducing the amount of e-waste drastically.
Source: Articlesbase.com wrote by Trishna Shah