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The Harmful Effects of E-Waste on the Environment

30 May 2022

Today, many people rely on smart devices to get things done.

For instance, they utilise smartphones, tablets, and laptops as their primary communication, productivity, and media consumption devices. Additionally, households use smart appliances like ovens, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and others in carrying out cooking, storage, cleaning, and other household-related functions. Even workers inside commercial and industrial buildings use smart devices and automated machines in conducting their primary duties and responsibilities.

The number of active smart devices and automated machines have continuously increased over the past few years. And with continuous innovation among these products, their overall quantity will most likely grow more as time passes.

The Emerging E-Waste Problem

Not all smart devices and automated machines, however, can last for a long time. Sometimes, a number of these things can break down years ahead of their expected service life. And as they meet their end of life, people do not have a choice but to discard them.

The continuous disposal of smart devices and automated machines has led to the growth of electronic waste or e-waste.

E-waste is a term describing aged or used electronics that are discarded, donated, or given to recycling centres. One common quality of electronics is they are powered by a battery or electricity. They may also feature a wide array of hazardous and toxic substances. These qualities make e-waste a widespread problem today as electronics are being bought and discarded continuously every day.

E-Waste Environmental Effects

Like other types of waste, e-waste can also pose environmental risks as its number increases. The existence of hazardous and toxic substances itself can already make e-waste dangerous to the environment. Some e-waste may not even decompose. Once they accumulate in landfills and bodies of water, they can affect the quality of nearby and surrounding soil, water, and air.

E-waste can be a huge problem in landfills and other land areas since their accompanying components may infiltrate their soil. As more metals and flame retardants seep into these lands, they can eventually contaminate underlying groundwater and crops. The crops can then absorb these harmful elements, making it impossible for farmlands to thrive. Animals and wildlife can likewise be affected negatively.

Water forms can also be affected by e-waste. As more of their elements infiltrate further the land areas, they can ultimately reach groundwater. They can then contaminate streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and others, altering the way nearby animals, plants, and communities live.

Air, lastly, can be affected by e-waste once they have been disposed of informally. Without proper disposal, they can release dust particles and toxins into the environment, causing air pollution and damaging respiratory health. Improper e-waste disposal can even cause chronic diseases and cancers.

Recycling E-Waste is Essential

To prevent e-waste from harming the environment, it must be sent to reputable recycling centres. Recycling centres are equipped with tools that can discard electronics properly. They can even provide some money in exchange for the said products.

To have your e-waste recycled properly, you can call us at Victorian Metal Traders. We endlessly strive to achieve the best possible practices as we take serious efforts to be a responsible environmental partner.

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