This International E-Waste Day,communities and schools are urged to join “take-back” recycling programmes
Every year on October 14, International E-Waste Day is observed.
This year, the major focus is those little electrical devices that we no longer use, but store in cabinets and drawers - or often simply throw in the regular trash.
According to Patricia Schröder, spokesperson for the producer responsibility organisation (PRO) Circular Energy NPC, recycling products in the correct way is much more important than most technology users realize.
Damage of e-waste is substantial
“The damage these seemingly small, obsolete electrical and electronic appliances can cause is considerable. According to UN estimates, about 22 million tonnes of tiny e-waste were produced globally in 2019. This amounts to 40% of the total of all electronic garbage generated worldwide,” she cautions.
“Items like cell phones, electric toothbrushes, toasters, and cameras count amongst the e-waste most frequently disposed of incorrectly - ending up in rubbish bins and eventually landfilled. This prevents the extraction of the valuable raw elements they contain, which is then lost.”
This while a much better solution is available: E-waste recycling! This is the process of extracting valuable materials after shredding the e-waste into small fractions that could be reused in a new electronic appliance.
Schröder adds that the average user discards more than 1 kg of e-waste every year. "And much more than that is lying around in our homes, abandoned and forgotten, when it could be recycled successfully."
Take-back programs make responsible recycling easy
Schröder says despite the fact that proper end-of-life options is actually relatively easy, many individuals feel overwhelmed and end up throwing their e-waste in the regular trash.
“This is where PRO’s and our e-waste-focused take-back schemes can be of great assistance,” she explains. “Companies like Circular Energy that manage the collection of e-waste are constantly working to make the proper disposal simple and convenient for consumers.”
Such a take-back system focuses on the collection, recycling, and environmentally sound processing of waste electrical and electronic equipment, (WEEE), Lighting and Lighting and lighting Equipment, Batteries and Packaging.
Schröder suggests that communities and schools can get involved by encouraging pupils and citizens to collect and hand over as much e-waste as they can find on their homes on this day.
“Circular Energy NPC will gladly assist with your take-back process to ensure it is recycled in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
“Kids can even make it a fun treasure hunt by going through their homes, looking for appropriate items,” she says.
Small e-waste includes items like batteries, cords, computer mice, cellphones, electric toothbrushes. And the larger items are computers, monitors, keyboards, scanners, printers and televisions, amongst others.
“Tackling the e-waste issue as a community and committing to a take-back program, makes responsible recycling fun,” Schröder concludes. “This all whilst putting the ‘more difficult’ work in the hands of the e-waste experts.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Rosa-Mari Le Roux , 060 995 6277, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.atthatpoint.co.za
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