Why Is E-Waste a Problem?

As we grow more conscious of our environmental health, many people are concerned about how they dispose of their electronic waste. These items include televisions, computers, batteries, phones, printers, copiers, monitors, DVD players, cameras, and many more. E-waste is currently the fastest-growing waste stream on the planet. On average, we produce more than 50 million tonnes of it every year, and the number is set to increase as the world shifts to technology.

So why is e-waste a problem, and what can you do to reduce its impact on human and plant health? This article will cover everything you need to know about e-waste, why it’s a problem within the community, and how to reduce it.

What Is E-Waste?

Also called electronic waste, end-of-life electronics, or e-scrap, E-waste is any product discarded with a plug or battery. It features harmful toxic substances like mercury that pose serious risks to human and environmental health. Anything that relies on electricity that you decide to dispose of is e-waste. Globally, we only recycle 10 percent of e-waste. About 90 percent of the waste ends up in landfills, incinerated, or illegally sold.

How Is E-Waste a Problem Within the Community?

E-waste is dangerous to the environment and everything else around it. If not managed, it can have serious consequences.

E-waste Disorganizes the Food Chain

When plant roots become affected by poor or bad soil, other organisms that live in the soil get directly affected as they may starve to death. They can also suffer dehydration when the plant roots fail to retain water. Similarly, if the plant community suffers depletion, the animals that depend on them for food could starve to death, and carnivores would lose their food supply due to migration or death.

Bioaccumulation of Toxic Chemicals in Human Organs

Mercury and lead poisoning are among the most feared health conditions in the world today. While measures are in place to keep these substances from human contact, they can slowly find themselves in human systems through the e-waste management systems. This starts when you eat plants that absorb these chemicals or consume fish that have come into contact with toxic chemicals in the water.

Data Security Threat

Disposing of your phone, computer, or hard disk can get you into trouble, especially if you don’t remove the files beforehand. Cybercriminals can use the personal or business information you store on those devices to cause harm to you, your business or the public.

What Can You Do?

Fortunately, there is something you can do to help manage e-waste and reduce toxicity in the environment. You can:

  • Reduce the number of electronic devices you use. Instead of using two phones, why not use one?
  • Re-use instead of disposing of your TV just because you got a bigger one. You can donate it, sell it, or re-gift it. You can also keep it somewhere in your basement; you never know when you may need it.
  • Repair broken electronics instead of replacing them.
  • Work with a reliable e-waste management company to manage your business’s e-waste.

Need Help Managing Your E-Waste at Home or a Business?

At CIWA, Inc., we have the knowledge, experience, and technology to create waste management plans that can save your business manpower, money, and time. Feel free to call us at (408) 261-4110, and we will be happy to help.