As the world has become tech-dependent and people upgrade their devices frequently, there emerges a fresh pile of old gadgets every now and then. A few million pounds of e-waste is processed on a monthly basis at just one recycling plant in India. Imagine the total amount generated across the country. The trouble begins when people start treating their old gadgets as garbage, which is not what any e-waste management company in India like Namo E-waste would want. You pick a phone with a 10-megapixel camera or the one that has 12 GB storage, it’s your choice. No one has a say in it. However, once you are done using the device, be as sensitive towards it as you were when you first bought it. It may no longer be precious for you but it still has some worth left in it and can support a sustainable ecosystem and a circular economy.
As the next generation of devices is about to catch the fancy of a common user, e-waste experts are wondering and estimating the number of redundant devices the world would produce once 5 G becomes a reality in every nation. As per the experts, there will be a dramatic rise in e-waste. Millions of mobile phones, smart devices, modems as well as other electronic gadgets will become incompatible with the Wi-Fi network of 5G. The situation wasn’t this bad even when the world switched from black and white to the color era or when digital devices took over the analog devices. Already electronic waste is the fastest increasing stream of solid waste; where is it going to go from here!
Refurbishing and resale
Electronic recycling and refurbishing companies encourage consumers to gather their electronics thereafter, safely delete all their personal and other data present in the devices. Depending on the usability of these recollected devices they are sent for refurbishing or their spare parts are recycled. The refurbished electronic devices are resold. There are many authorized recyclers and registered e-waste recycling companies in India but due to lack of awareness among the consumers and lack of resources, we still manage to recycle only a part of the overall e-waste generated in the country. The remaining e-waste goes to the informal sector after being picked up by informal e-waste recyclers from the landfill; and not before some of its harmful substances like beryllium and mercury contaminate the environment!
There are laws in place to not dump electronic waste in the regular bin yet people fail to abide by it. An expert based out of the US states that besides, environmental concerns, compressed inflammable batteries of smartphones containing lithium-ion have posed dangers many times while recycling along with paper in the past. There have been many reported cases of fire at recycling centers earlier.
Drop them at the right place
The Government has enforced various e-waste management-related laws including EPR extended producer responsibility, meant for the electrical and electronic equipment manufacturers to collect and recycle electronic devices once their shelf-life is over. For the consumers, there is no strict law; they have been given the choice to drop their old gadgets in a special bin outside their homes or at collection centers in India. They are also given exchange offers by electronic brands. However, even after knowing all this, many consumers either dump their gadgets in the regular bin or let them remain unattended for years in their storerooms. This must change. It’s for your own betterment. Remember you are a cohabitant in this world. You must not damage the environment for the sake of your convenience. It is your responsibility as well as a duty towards the environment to drop off your e-waste for recycling and save the surroundings from the harmful effects of e-waste.