Everyone has a gadget. Whether you can’t be parted from your smartphone, have a drawer packed with old MP3s and obsolete chargers, or you’re looking at upgrading your laptop, we all have our electronic waste, or e-waste items, cluttering up our lives. What few of us realize, however, is how very bad for the environment our defunct devices are. It is high time for us to ensure that e-Waste recycling on the mind of every conscientious consumer, and the ways to go about it.
India — Thriving Tech Hub
E-waste pile up is of course not a uniquely Indian problem. E-waste is being dumped into landfills and leaching our ecosystem at record rates globally. However, India, as with many developing nations, has uniquely used technology, especially smartphone tech, to help uplift the poor, upgrade access to vital services like banking even in the most rural areas, and improve the quality of life across the cards. We have record numbers of users embracing technological advances for a better quality of life.
Yet, as a poorer player on the international circuit, we’re also less trained to think about green issues and how our actions affect the world around us. A freelance worker in Uttar Pradesh using their smartphone to access freelance work opportunities does not encounter the same level of ‘green push’ that a middle-income earner in Norway might. Chances are they’ll find it far harder to access a recycling station geared for e-waste locally to them, and they may not even realize why it matters.
This is why online e-waste recyclers are a critical lynchpin in the battle for both educating and promoting a more globalized access to important services. Additionally, as we face a societal push to upgrade devices before the end of their lifecycle just to keep up with trends. The same adaptability and easy embrace of technology leave us perfectly positioned to make a real difference in the world, too.
Why is e-Waste a Problem?
Of course, everything that goes into a landfill is a problem in some way. However, biodegradable materials, food waste, and other types of garbage don’t have the same longterm environmental effects as items like e-waste. Not only are gadgets not biodegradable, but the circuits and motherboards that make them are also packed with toxic substances and heavy metals.
Chromium, mercury, cadmium, and lead, all present in the average laptop or smartphone, can slowly leech into soils and waterways as they degrade. BPA-laden plastics will remain part of the landscape for centuries to come. This is why these products are banned from many landfill sites. Current estimates suggest that 60 million tons of e-waste are dumped annually around the globe. It’s a problem that’s only getting worse as more people embrace technology.
E-waste Recycling — The Value Answer
However, recycling e-waste isn’t just about avoiding the bad; it’s also about extracting the good. Our devices are also packed with tons of valuable materials such as gold, silver, platinum, aluminum, etc, that have real value in the recycling market. And the technology to extract more and more valuable items from recycled electronics is accelerating. In the future, even more, will be reusable.
The more recycled materials we have available, the lower the demand for virgin raw materials. This can help reduce the damaging effects of mining activities and simply cut down the carbon emissions contributing to global warming. And the best news of all? Most standard electronic devices are nearly 100% recyclable. It’s simply poor stewardship of the earth letting these valuable recyclables rot away in the environment.
Donate to Pay it Forward
In addition to recycling, many of these discarded devices are nowhere near the end of their actual lifespan. Especially when we consider software upgrades or lifestyle choices as a motivator in parting from them. Refurbished, reused, and donated devices can help empower others to reach their current living standards, and give them the leg-up they need to better their lives. At a far lower price point than even an entry-model brand-new gadget.
In a perfect world, these devices will be used until their true end of life, and then see new life as a recycled component of newer technology. This keeps landfills emptier, reduces mining and other harmful activities, reduces carbon emissions, and empowers poor people. What’s not to love about that plan?
Cash in Your Pocket
To add some extra sweetness to the deal, many reputable online device recyclers offer a small payment for devices that can be refurbished. Not only are you greening the world, but you get a tempting little kickback to help you fund your next gadget.
Do you want to see India succumb to piles of discarded laptops, smartphones, cameras, and redundant technology? Or do you want to help the nation continue to thrive as a global number 1 in the technology arena, powered by smart, green-thinking policies that help ensure a better life for all? We know for sure which route sounds the best.
So if you want to upgrade your gadget, or simply looking to declutter and get rid of old gadgets, it’s time to rethink. Rather than dumping them in the trash, consider approaching an e-waste recycling service or an online buy-back service, and help make the world a better place.