Rapid technology advancements and changes, affordable prices, and increased purchasing power are a few factors accounting for increased spending in electrical goods and ultimately, a corresponding rise in electronic waste. It is a serious issue plaguing countries worldwide and, for the sake of the environment, a problem that needs to be addressed.
Before throwing or recycling
Often, a simple upgrade is all that is needed to keep an old machine going for years. Therefore, install extra memory for that failing computer to accommodate all your data and storage needs. Better still, purchase external disks to get your computer’s memory in shape. Thus, before buying anything, think of what you can still use and keep them for as long as you can.
For instance, before getting rid of ink and toner cartridges, make sure that you can refill them. It will not only save you money, but contribute to less toxic waste by disposing of them. Go for compatible cartridges and toners to prolong the life of printers. Some consumables even go the extra mile, improving the print capacity and economies of scale. However, this is easier said than done, when your old clunker seems to be out of place amongst those new, hi-tech gadgets. If you upgrade, make sure to donate appliances that are still operational or take them to a refurbisher and get money back.
Every year, people dump roughly 50 million tonnes of harmful and toxic electronic waste into the environment. The new law supersedes the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.
When implemented, it obliges sellers to take in electronic devices sold even when there is no purchase or replacement for recycling. The collection of large appliances is the responsibility of the manufacturer. In addition, exporters of electronic goods are also required to include documentation of recycling, repair, and re-use to prevent exports of e-waste to poor countries.
Hence, saying yes to recycling and reusing electronic goods can go a long way in ensuring that the pressures on the fragile environment and ecosystem are drastically reduced.