Electronic products are frequently used nowadays, because technology has changed the way of life, such as communication, entertainment, and ways to get important information. Computer recycling is the process to recycle and reuse computers and other electronic devices. The system is used to dismantle the electronic items in a reliable way to safely extract the constituent materials for reuse.
It is vital to recycle obsolete computers and other electronics because these can prove a valuable source to get raw material. If the obsolete computers remain untreated, then they can be a source of toxins and carcinogens. The rapid change in technology and planned obsolescence leads to the fastest growth in the surplus of computers and other components all around the globe. Although different technical solutions are available, it is important to consider the legal framework, a collection system, logistics, and different other services before selecting any technical solution.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
According to the estimation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the 30 to 40 million surplus computers are “dangerous domestic waste”. These should be treated via end-of-life management. The 75% of personal computers sold in the past are now treated as surplus electronics. More than 36 million computers in the United States are dealt in as a replacement and discarded computers. Almost 15% of electronic devices and equipment are recycled, and most of the electronic waste is sent into landfills and incinerators. The waste can release harmful materials, including lead, mercury, and cadmium into the soil, groundwater, and the environment. It can put a negative impact on the environment.
There are lots of components and materials in the computer that can be effectively used in future production, such as tin, silicon, iron, aluminum and lots of plastic substances are available in the computers their reuse can reduce the cost of new systems. Lead, copper, gold, and valuable materials are appropriate for the reclamation. There are many toxic substances present in the computer, such as dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, chromium, radioactive isotopes, cadmium, and mercury. Export of wastes to the countries is a major concern of the electronic recycling process. Safety is the major concern for both exporting and importing companies.
It is the most cost-effective for some companies to sell outdated computers to underdeveloped countries with some tax regulations. The developing nations usually routed surplus laptops as “dumping grounds for electronic waste”.
Specifically Designed Electronics Recycling
According to research, every European has almost 24 electronic products in his/her house. Usually, electronic products are donated to others to reuse and extend their life of valuable products. Recycling is a good option to avoid valuable items from going to waste. It is really important to dispose of the old computers, monitors, and other electronic items properly because these can spread harmful contaminants into the environment. Every state has its own regulations to dispose of electronic waste to protect the environment.
There are different methods to manage electronic waste, but the cheapest method is not responsible enough and can pollute the environment. There are lots of useful methods that can be useful to recycle electronic waste for the safety of the environment:
Glass to Glass
It is an effective and economic solution to recycle obsolete monitors and other electronic items. You can convert the old monitors and televisions into new cathode ray tube glass. The automatic recycling system is an effective solution available in the industry. The glass can be used to produce furnace ready cullet.
End of Life Destruction
Under this method, the electronic waste is recycled to avoid waste from entering the landfills. The electronic waste is completely disposed off to keep the environment safe. Every year, lots of computers and electronic equipment are recycled.
Some companies also offer asset recovery systems by turning obsolete electronics into revenue. It is a significant way to make archaic products useful.
Recalls and Returns
The technique is specifically designed for retailers who want to handle all products in a reliable way to recall returns for customers. It is one of the most efficient ways to carry out retail operations.
Types of Electronic Waste
Barium is available in the cathode ray tube used to avoid exposure to radiation. The barium is harmful to the human body because it can weaken the muscles, swell the brain and damage the liver, spleen, and heart.
Beryllium is present in the motherboards and connectors, and it is known as a human carcinogen.
Brominates Flame Retardants
The retardants are dangerous like endocrine disrupters. These have the ability to reduce the thyroxin levels in animals. These are equally dangerous for pregnant women.
It is dangerous for fragile bones and can damage kidneys. The element is found in semiconductors, infrared detectors, SMD chip resistors, older cathode ray tubes, and plastic pieces of equipment.
It serves as a hardener for the shape of the systems and protects the steel plates from corrosion. Its exposure can cause asthmatic bronchitis and DNA damage.
There are lots of other substances that are used in the manufacturing of electronic items and their exposure to the air can cause lots of dangerous diseases, therefore it is important to take the services of an experienced and reliable company to recycle the electronic waste.
Various Recycling Methods
Different recycling methods are used, including consumer recycling, corporate recycling, sale, take back, exchange, scrapping, and donations. In consumer recycling, the computers are donated to the needy organizations or directly sent back to the original manufacturers. Corporate recycling is a cost-effective way to recycle a large amount of computer equipment. It is a secure process to recycle computers by protecting the valuable data of the company. An online auction is another method to resell the computer. Major computer manufacturers sometimes take their old computers back for recycling. The Dell and Apple Incorporations often offer their new computers by taking old ones back. The computers are also recycled to get the valuable material for remanufacturing. A lot of good companies offer reliable and safe solutions for the recycling of electronic waste.