Electronic waste is one of the fasted growing waste streams in the world. It's estimated that UK households produce 1.45 million tonnes of electrical waste each year. Unfortunately, much of this waste is not disposed of responsibly, with the cheapest option being to ship the waste abroad, where it's often burned to get the precious metals inside. This leads to many health problems for workers at the waste dumps who spend long hours breathing in toxic fumes from the fires. This Earth Day, we want you to take action to help reduce the spread of E-Waste, here are 3 ways you can help:
Drop electronics you don't use into a local electrical recycling bin
It's estimated that £7billion of precious metals and reusable materials are stored in the electronics you have lying about your home. In the UK, we tend to hoard old electronics in case they become useful again in the future, but with the rapid development of technology, it's unlikely that old iPod and digital camera will be something you pick up again. By dropping these off at a local electronic recycling point, the precious metals inside can be extracted and the other materials can be recycled. So, if you haven't used it in the last year - recycle it! Recycle now have a tool to help you locate your closest recycling point which can be found here.
Don't buy cheap disposable technology
80% of a computers lifetime energy consumption happens before it's even turned on! We all know how tempting those Wish adverts on facebook are, showing us amazing products at rock-bottom prices, only to have them arrive and work for 2 weeks before breaking. The less we buy, the less waste we produce - invest in well made, easy to repair electronics that will last longer. When something breaks, take it to be repaired rather than just buying a new one - the Restart Project hold restart parties around the country.
Ask your company about E-Waste
If you work for a large company or know someone who does, encourage them to find a responsible disposal service for their waste electronics. Services such as our IT disposal can add 7 years to a device's life, and provide those who need technology with an affordable option. Often large businesses will refresh all their IT equipment at once, and by donating that equipment instead of sending to landfill, they will not only be adding an amazing CSR initiative to their portfolio, they will be changing lives. We specialise in data-wiping, refurbishing and reusing technology to help with education, access to information, and entrepreneurship around the world. It's our mission to ensure everyone has equal access to technology, you can help us achieve it.
E-waste is a growing global issue, but if we all take one small step each, we can make a huge difference. Find out more about our IT Disposal here: