It’s not uncommon these days to find a handful of wires in some corner of our home, and have no idea as to what they are used for. And it’s not just wires. As our homes overflow with gadgets, many of our electronic devices gather dust simply because we do not know how to get rid of them. Disposing e-waste safely is one of the biggest issues we face today and poses a huge problem, especially considering the booming gadget and electronics industry that’s gathering speed every day.
India alone generates four lakh tonnes of e-waste every day. However, less than 5% of the waste is recycled by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) authorized recyclers. Most of us throw out our e-waste with the rest of our garbage, without a second thought about the implications Carelessly disposing e-waste is dangerous because the harmful gases it emits — beryllium, lead and cadmium to name a few — adversely impact health and contributes to air pollution. While many aspects of e-waste disposal is not within our control, it does not mean that we can’t do our bit to safely dispose our old gadgets.
Here’s what you can do with your household e-waste:
One of the easiest ways to tackle e-waste is to simply reduce the amount of waste that we generate. It’s difficult to resist the temptation of a shiny new phone or walk away from the latest smart speaker or smart watch in town. But it always helps to double-think before investing in electronics, especially if you’re buying it on a whim. Waiting and carefully considering if you need a specific item will help you understand if you’re going to actually use what you’re buying or just trying to keep up with the trends.
There are many brands like Nokia, Dell, HCL and Motorola that provide take-back services where you can return your old gadgets. These companies then recycle their old products or dispose them safely themselves. A quick search will let you know if the products you own offer take-back services.
Do you own products from companies that do not recycle their products? The best way to dispose that waste is to look up e-waste disposal companies in your locality. There are many that offer pick-up services too, so you can discard your waste from the comfort of your home! This is your chance to make a quick buck while simultaneously getting rid of the waste at home.
If your gadgets are still in a working condition, you can also look into recycling them on online platforms or even donating to schools and other NGOs. This is your chance to make a little change while also cleaning your home. Don’t forget to erase all your personal information before you go down this route though!
The problem of e-waste disposal is not one that can be solved in a day or two. However, with the rise in consumption of consumer electronics, safely and properly disposing e-waste is the need of the hour. Being conscious of the problem goes a long way in itself, so before you buy your new phone, at least make sure that your old one is taken care of!