Electronics has become an integral part of our lives today. We rely on gadgets for nearly every other task, thus crowding our home with electronic items. Although these gadgets do make our lives easier, they also have a downside to them. They contain toxic components that can degrade the environment considerably. Sadly, not most of us realize this and tend to throw away old, used electronic items, thus contributing to e-waste landfills around the world.
According to a report published by the EPA, while the purchase and use of electronic items increase significantly every year, only about 27% of these items are recycled annually. This literally means that we keep on buying more and more electronic items and do little to prevent them from landing up in the trash.
Impacts of not recycling e-waste
Discarded electronic items that are recyclable usually end up in landfills. They take up the space that would otherwise be given to a non-recyclable product. As such, they tend to grow landfills and contribute to environmental pollution.
Pollute Ground Water
Several electronic items contain toxic metals like mercury, cadmium and lead. Depositing them in landfills would lead to these metals contaminating the ground water in the surrounding regions, thus affecting the flora, fauna and even the people living in the area.
Consuming More Energy
Many electronic items contain platinum, copper, gold and other valuable metals. Throwing away old items while purchasing new ones would increase the demand of these products. This, in turn, increases the demand of these metals as well, making companies consume more energy as well as more resources to get the raw materials to extract these metals and other raw materials. Most of these processes emit dangerous levels of CO2, thus polluting the environment to a great extent.
Benefits of Recycling Electronics
If these reasons do not scare you enough, then here are some benefits you can enjoy from recycling your old electronic items. Recycling electronic items reduce the demand for new products, thus reducing energy consumption. By simply recycling old mobile phones that land up in the landfills each year, we can save enough energy to power more than 50000 homes. Reusing electronic items would also prevent the toxic metals polluting the environment, thus paving the way for greener, healthier surroundings for future generations.
Not recycling old electronic items would have manifold impacts on the environment. In addition to increasing energy consumption, it would lead to severe environmental pollution and degradation.