With the growth of technology and the advancement of consumer products a new industry has birthed; electronic recycling.
Electronic recycling has become an important genre in the waste management industry. Consumers are gobbling up new tech and when they do, many times old tech goes in the garbage. This can be dangerous. It is also destructive to the environment and even affects wildlife.
Ferrous or Non-Ferrous
Waste is separated into categories. There a many sub-categories but the main ones are ferrous and non-ferrous waste.
Ferrous is defined as waste that contains iron and is magnetic. Sheet metal, drums, and appliances are examples of ferrous waste. Non-ferrous is waste that does not contain iron and is not magnetic. Lead batteries, aluminum, brass and copper are some examples of non-ferrous waste.
A New and Growing Type of Waste
As technology grows waste follows suite. Technology moves fast and today’s hot product is tomorrow’s waste. Cell phone, computers, even your refrigerator find themselves in an important category: electronic waste or E-waste.
The devices and units can be dangerous. All of them contain some sort of hazardous materials. Mercury, lead, and cadmium are some of the dangerous chemicals you will find in discarded electronic devises.
Improperly discarding them can have devastating consequences to the environment along with creating serious public safety issues. Recyclers have evolved. They are now more efficient at processing, and safely disposing, e-waste.
Reuse, Recycle, Restore
When receiving e-waste, recyclers use advanced techniques in tandem with older methods to process the waste safely.
Recycling is the best. No one will argue that. And recyclers are the experts. When e-waste reaches a recycler it is commonly dismantled into various parts. Frames, power supplies, circuit boards and plastic parts are separated. Parts that can be recycled are sent to their specific areas and toxic parts are sent to be processed safely.
CRT’s are a common source of E-waste. When recycled they provide many materials but if just discarded can be a safety and environmental hazard.
Leaded gas from CRT’s is removed and reused or sold to foundries as fluxing agent. The copper, gold, silver and palladium are valuable materials. These are sold to smelters, or wholesalers, to be recycled. Any gases or smokes that are hazardous are collected and treated to reduce their effects on the environment.
Recycling facilities come in different sizes and types. Ideally a good one would do the dismantling and processing on site. However, that’s not always practical, so often you will find smaller specialty recyclers working in tandem.
The amount of electronic waste is growing each day. Proper disposal is imperative to protect the environment and ensure public safety.
Electronic recycling helps us achieve that.