Electronic waste, E-Waste, or high-tech trash denotes the electronic items that are no longer in use by consumers are being disposed of as garbage and piled up into landfill.
• E-waste is the most rapidly growing segment of the municipal solid waste stream. • E-waste contains many valuable, recoverable materials such as aluminum, copper, gold, silver, plastics, and ferrous metals. In order to conserve natural resources and the energy needed to produce new electronic equipment from virgin resources, electronic equipment can be refurbished, reused, and recycled instead of being landfilled. • E-waste also contains toxic and hazardous materials including mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium, chromium, and chemical flame retardants, which have the potential to leach into our soil and water.
• Recycling recovers valuable materials from old electronics that can be used to make new products. As a result, we save energy, reduce pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the earth. • Safe recycling of outdated electronics promotes sound management of toxic chemicals such as lead and mercury. • Donating your used electronics benefits your community by passing on ready-to-use or refurbished equipment to those who need it. • ECycling creates jobs for professional recyclers and refurbishers and creates new markets for the valuable components that are dismantled. • E-waste is a growing waste stream. By recycling these items, landfill space is conserved.
There are currently two dominant approaches to recycling used electronic products: demanufacturing (or manual dismantling) and shredding.
Demanufacturing involves manually dismantling the electronics in order to market the recyclable raw materials/products that are found. The dismantling process yields more components that can be reused in secondary markets. Demanufacturing/dismantling is most usually done by trained technicians who use a variety of machine and hand tools.
Shredding involves a minimal amount of manual sorting and separation of components. In the shredding process, electronics are loaded into large pieces of shredding equipment. The shredding process allows recyclers to recover the maximum value from the recyclable metals in used electronics. Shredding operations employ fewer workers since most of the work is accomplished by large pieces of equipment..
Electronic recycling is done in the accredited recycling facilities under constant supervision and in a safe and protected environment. It is essential that the facility adheres to the Occupational Health and Safety standards and care should be taken to ensure that the employees carry out their activities in full compliance with the Environment Management Standards (EMS)