Why E- Recycling Is Important
E-waste is an ever expanding blight on the planet. The amazing array of innovative technologies we depend on for our day-to-day are taking a serious toll on the environment, through the extraction of rare metals and other resources, compounded by the excessive dumping of anything deemed broken or obsolete. The dumps are usually vast, toxic wastelands, with more e-waste arriving each and every day.
New Opportunities for E-Waste Recyclers
2015 was a mixed year for many e-waste recyclers. In a global economy prone to fluctuations relating to the price of oil and precious metals, e-waste businesses reported stagnation in global markets. Despite the volume of e-waste continually rising, businesses are not seeing any increase in their profits, in turn hampering their ability to grow and process more e-waste. A vicious cycle that could see some companies downsizing, and others close altogether.
We haven’t had an e-waste article since early February, so I thought it was about time we looked at the global struggle to cope with the ever-growing mountains of discarded technology. E-waste is one of the single fastest growing global industries, spanning nearly all nations, encapsulating the flow of raw potential material from the West to the rest. We are at an impasse with the world’s e-waste production and the means for recycling.
A $100,000 Cheque
A $100,000 cheque awaits a mystery women who accidentally passed off a working Apple 1 to a recycling firm, following the death of her husband. The boxes, full of electronics, were removed as part of a massive clear-out. Cleaning firm, Clear Bay Area, only discovered the vintage Apple a couple of weeks later once they had cleared their own backlog of boxes.
Still one of the fastest growing global markets, e-waste is an ongoing issue for consumers and those lumped with the clear-up, too. It is estimated only 25% of global e-waste is regularly collected, with residents in many countries simply unaware that schemes are available to help them dispose of their electronic goods. It can be done safely, securely and responsibly.
There have been several interesting e-waste developments since our last article in early November and as ever, we strive to keep you updated with the global e-waste situation. Global e-waste is a massive economic driver if only by the sheer weight of potential raw material loss whilst simultaneously eroding the safety of the individuals having to trawl hazardous dumping grounds to locate potentially toxic, recyclable materials.
Electronic Waste Part IV(ish)
As we continue with our e-waste series of blogs we can begin to further explore the role of product and electronic design in the role of e-waste reduction and the potential positive effects this may have around the globe. Our previous blog post featured the somewhat futuristic idea of meteoroid mining in the quest to refine and expand our global (and interstellar) resource network in order to continue production whilst reducing the strain on the planet’s remaining natural resources.
Resources - The Next Generation
The fourth link in our E-Waste series carries a different title. Production of increasingly complex electronic devices is certain to continue. Production of ‘standard’ issue consumer electronics is also unlikely to stop. We have covered several issues with waste: where it goes; where it comes from; who generates it; how to alter the problem; but there is another aspect of this issue that we haven’t touched upon: resource depletion.
Electronic Waste Part III
We arrive at the third segment of the ongoing E-Waste blog series, having previously explored the lack of provision by electronics companies to fix your own devices and a handful of Instructables of how to upcycle your own electronics waste. The sentiment offered in each of these articles is somewhat simple: environmental sustainability is achievable!
From our last outing regarding e-waste there have been several interesting developments to update you with, largely concerning the slow western wake up to the massive environmental issue being created throughout a number of countries. A number of governments throughout Europe, as well as the United States, are realising the unsustainable nature of the current system. Adding to this are several of the major electronics technology producers, also aware of the damage that their products are visiting upon individuals in a number of countries.
Electronic Waste Part II
We wrote recently concerning the growing issue of e-waste and the lack of genuine recycling facilities available throughout most of the western world. A significant amount of waste generated in this country makes its way to unlicensed African ‘decommissioning sites’ where hundreds of individuals are exposed to potentially harmful materials and chemicals. The 1.4 million tonnes of e-waste generated in the UK should at least have some positive recourse for the manufacturers, owners and lastly, protecting those exposed to the failings of the e-waste production/removal chain.