What Is the Issue with E-Waste?
You may think that office e-waste is unimportant. That’s because you can only see what’s outside – the computer monitor you no longer use or the old TV set you replaced with a smart, high-definition one.
You probably don’t think about what’s inside, which could include hazardous materials like mercury, beryllium, cadmium, lead, arsenic, and brominated flame retardants. If these elements are handled incorrectly and revealed, they can cause neurological damage, organ damage, and other anti-virus programs.
Is E-Waste Dangerous to the Environment?
Electronic waste, as though it will make humans extremely ill, harms the environment. In 2016, the United States alone generated approximately 6.9 million tons of office e-waste. The majority of this will most likely end up in the trash. E-waste makes up only 2% of landfill debris but contributes more than two-thirds of heavy metal waste.
The effect on water Computer batteries and mobile phones contain lead, lithium, mercury, barium, and other heavy metals. These contaminants can percolate into the soil and closes up in the groundwater. As a result, waste containing heavy metals should be properly handled and not disposed of in a landfill.
The effect on the soil. Toxic heavy metals and chemicals derived from office e-waste enter the soil-crop-food chain. This contaminates the soil, yielding farmland unfit for producing clean and safe food. These chemicals are also not biodegradable, which increases the risk of human and animal exposure to these toxins.
How Can I Bring Costs on Office E-Waste?
Building electronic devices require a lot of energy, from the creation of plastic parts to the extraction of materials and resources. Here are a few steps you can take to avoid producing more e-waste than necessary.
1. Improve the way you purchase devices.
Purchase computers and other equipment from companies that have an end-of-life management process in place for the products they produce. Some businesses will return them to be recycled. If you can’t find a company like this for every device you buy, make sure whatever you get won’t end up in a landfill. It is usually good to learn about your local recycling laws.
2. Reassess your purchase before making a final decision.
Recognize whether you need that extra device before you go out and buy it. Rather than purchasing multiple products with primarily single functions, look for a single device that can perform multiple functions. This will help you reduce e-waste while also saving you some cash.
3. Purchase eco-friendly brands
When shopping for electronics, look for products that have the Energy Star label. You can also select devices that have received certification from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). EPEAT-registered products meet environmental criteria for waste management, material selection, energy conservation, and build and maintenance.
4. Repair or replace your equipment.
Do you even have any electronic devices that aren’t working properly? Don’t be so quick to throw them out. Before you throw them away, see if you can repair them. A repair may save you money over purchasing a new device. It would prevent you from contributing to the amount of electronic waste generated by your office.
Rebuilding can also aid in the reduction of electronic waste. Memory upgrades, software upgrades, or new hard drives can help your old electronics run faster and more efficiently. As a result, there is no need for you to deprive them.
5. Retain your electronics safe.
Purchase a laptop keyboard protector or a cell phone case. Maintain the cleanliness of your devices and avoid overcharging the batteries. All of this will help your electronics last longer.
6. Donate old electronics
Old products that no longer serve your needs can find a new home somewhere. For example, you may have recently upgraded your copy machine to something faster and more efficient. You can donate the old one to a church or a shelter where speed or efficiency are not important.
7. Recycle whatever you can.
If your electronic devices are too broken to repair or donate, your next option is to recycle them. Some manufacturers and retailers provide a return program, so all you have to do is schedule a run once you’ve collected enough e-waste. Some of these businesses also sponsor recycling activities.
Allow Us to Control All of Your Waste!
We are the company to reach if you need your waste – electronic or otherwise – disposed of. For over 15 years, Janitorial Utah has provided janitorial and commercial cleaning services to businesses in Salt Lake City, Utah. Allow us to handle your company’s needs as well. Contact us today to find out more.
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