What Happens to Discarded Electronics? - GoTechTalk

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

What Happens to Discarded Electronics?

What Happens to Discarded Electronics?

Not too long ago you probably weren't thinking all that much about electronics disposal but nowadays there's a absolute flood of inexpensive portable electronics available around the globe in fact they're so common that some countries are starting to treat Internet access as a human right and like anything else our electronics wear out over time or at the very least become embarrassing when something better comes along which can take a surprisingly short amount of time, I mean think about how often smartphones get updated.

So what happens to all this stuff when we're done using it does it all go to some retro tech museum in the sky when we throw it away..? unfortunately no much of it simply gets buried in landfills when people throw out their old mobile phones or whatever else along with banana peels  but as you might guess most electronic waste or e-waste is it biodegradable and even contains toxic metals like mercury and cadmium as well as other not-so-good chemicals that can leach through landfills and end up in groundwater, not a great situation.

So lots of folks then opt to recycle their waste instead of just tossing it in the trash but how exactly does electronics recycling work?

Well sorry to burst your happy carbon neutral bubble but the inconvenient truth is that it often doesn't. Although there are lots of places that advertise electronic waste disposal much of it doesn't actually end up disposed of properly at all, instead much of it is shipped off to poorer countries for salvage where things like circuit boards are literally set on fire or dunked into acid so the workers can go dig through it afterward and recover useful materials such as copper and gold. So as you might be able to guess there are lots of toxic fumes that get released when electronics are burned which has created serious health problems in impoverished areas that are economically dependent on this kind of dangerous manual labor. nevertheless, it continues to happen because shipping a waste to a less fortunate part of the globe is cheaper than processing it at home, of course, this isn't meant to be a political lecture, so let's talk about how reputable electronics recycling and disposable services deal with your unwanted electronics.


Some places like Free Geek Vancouver rely on manual volunteer labor to separate plastics and metals and the different kinds of plastics and the different kinds of metals so they can be reused and/or recycled but there are higher tech facilities that actually automate this process by using automatic shredders that will shred your old processors motherboards and other electronics without releasing the same kinds of harsh chemicals into the air that burning does, after shredding the bits of e-waste are sorted sometimes using optical sensing for increased accuracy according to the types of materials which are then sold to other companies that use these reclaimed metals and plastics in other products everything from car batteries to furniture, of course if you have something that's outdated but still functional it's usually better to find a way to reuse it rather than recycling it so you can sell or donate it to an organization again like E-Waste Recycling India that specializes in refurbishing old electronics for Rural areas and NGO`s and computer hardware.


Alright, guys, that's the end of the blog, thanks for reading the whole way through if you enjoyed this blog please share it with someone who would be interested and leave a comment, Thanks for reading guys.

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