Time to E-rase your E-waste

Technology is supposed to solve all humankinds’ problems including dealing with climate change. But does it have no adverse effects on the environment? Let’s find out more about technology and its connection with the environment through E-Waste.

Electronic waste or e-waste consists of old, unwanted, faulty and obsolete electronics. These electronics can be home appliances like ovens, toasters, refrigerators, and communication devices like telephones, tablets and smartphones. Other examples are obsolete VCRs, computers, radio sets, fax machines, speakers and printers. As technology advances rapidly, perfectly running electronics become obsolete and are rendered waste. E-Waste is not just those electronics that do not work but also those that are replaced by their receptive new and fresh models, which are presented to the public by big brands every few months.

The challenge is to find a method to properly dispose of the electronic waste produced each day. While in working condition, these electronics are safe, however, unfortunately, most electronics contain toxic substances like Beryllium, Mercury, Cadmium, and Lead which can harm our soil, air, water and wildlife. Sometimes these toxic waste parts are dumped in a landfill and then they further reach the ground and to the groundwater. When exposed to heat, e-waste releases all the toxic elements it contains into the atmosphere, damaging the air very severely. There is also the problem of data breaches associated with e-waste. If not disposed of or recycled correctly, data theft is possible as sensitive data can be obtained through e-waste. Over time this has become a severe problem. Surprisingly, India only collected 3% of the total e-waste generated in 2018 according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report.

Computers waste pile