Every year we throw away 11.7 million tons of e-waste, which is any electronic waste that is either obsolete or no longer wanted. With the amount of global e-waste expected to grow by 8 percent per year, we can’t afford to toss everything in the trash and contribute more and more to growing landfills. The good news? Our highly prized electronics are made of plastics, glass, and other materials that can be recycled and made into new items. Alternatively, you can give new life to slightly outdated laptops, monitors, printers, and more by donating them to schools, thrift stores, non-profit charities, or refurbishers. So before you toss those batteries in the trash or kick your old TV to the curb, read on for tips to responsibly donate or recycle your used electronics.
Whether it’s a mattress, an old appliance or construction debris, when you’ve got something you need to trash, it’s not always as easy as throwing it in the weekly pickup. Large items need special care in order to be taken away — and, more than that, they need intentionality in their disposal if you want to minimise their resulting impact on the environment. That means, when you want to dispose of something but don’t know how to do it, you need a basic understanding of where and how to get rid of goods.
Is it possible to dispose of goods without contributing to the 220 annual tons of waste generated in the United States? What do you do with items that won’t fit into regular trash pickup? The answer to these questions lies within the field of waste management.
“Since the start of 2017, we have thrown out more than 6.4m tonnes of electronic goods, according to The World Counts, a website keeping a live tally of global e-waste. If past patterns are any judge, not much of this will get properly recycled: less than a sixth of the e-waste discarded around the world in 2014 was dealt with in this way, says the UN.”
The electronic waste is getting out of our hands. Every 18 months we change mobile phones and our computers every 2 years. Are we aware of what are they made of and where do they end up? And most importantly: What can we, as individuals, do to reduce it?
Below you’ll find an infographic Digital Doc of Chesterfield made with some numbers and solutions we can contribute to control the E-waste problem.
Amazon Dash: does the world really need more little pieces of plastic?
Excerpt from the full original article by Senay Boztas on Guardian Circular Economy