Disposal of Consumer Electronics

Consumer electronics are the equipments that you use around the house such as the television, phones, computers etc. Most consumer electronics are really useful when they are in working condition. But once they are broken or replaced, they become a menace to the society. These consumer electronics consist of mercury, PCB and many other harmful substances which need to be disposed or recycled properly. There are certain rules that have to be followed for proper disposal. Every consumer should be educated on how to dispose their electronic waste or the e-waste. The government should enforce them on all manufactures and also take preventive measures to keep our society safe. When these Electronic wastes are segregated properly, most of the raw materials could be recycled. Consumers are advised to call the appropriate people for the disposal of their e-waste.The United states alone provide about 3 million tons of e-waste. Due to the difficulty and the cost, all these e-waste are exported to the developing countries. The recycling procedure is done by separating the plastic, glass, circuit boards and the toxic materials. I am shocked to learn that the 80% of toxic materials are burnt or destroyed in the developing countries. The workers involved in those activities are children who are deprived of their education. The other 10% is sent to the US prison where the prisoners are made to work in the hazardous environment. Only 10% of the components are recycles properly. Most consumers are not aware about such details.Most of the consumer electronics such as the refrigerators, air conditioners and television contains refrigerants, coolants, mercury etc which leads to the emission of greenhouse gases. These greenhouse gases are the main reason for the depletion of the ozone layer. The ozone layer protects the Earth’s atmosphere from the harmful rays such as the ultra violet rays. These rays cause the serious case of skin cancer. The Carcinogenic substances that are present in many of the e-waste contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).The Capacitors, resistors, transistors and wires are insulated with components that are coated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The equipments that are manufactured before 1977 may also contain dangerous amount of polychlorinated biphenyls which are really very dangerous. The cathode ray tubes that are present in our monitor, television and laptops are huge in quantity. They are very difficult and expensive to recycle. There are nearly 38 different chemical components present in the e-waste. The plastic that is used to make the consumer goods contains flame retardant. When these devices are disposed, the flame retardants that is present in the plastic leach on to the soil.The waste electrical and economic directive (WEEE) is a European initiative. This directive states that each manufacturer should have the infrastructures and procedures to collect the old equipment upon the request of the consumers for free of charge. Each of these devices should be collected, packed and recycles in the proper manner. The recycled material should be reused to the maximum efficiency possible.When you buy new consumer electronics, either donate or sell your old ones if they are in good working condition. There are many public schools and orphanages that are in need of more resources. If you are going to exchange your old equipments for new ones, try and find out what they intent on doing with it. Find out how they recycle them. As a consumer, it is your responsibility to be informed of such things.Avoid buying new equipments unnecessarily. Regular service of the consumer electronics helps in the proper maintenance of the product. Handle equipments the way that is given on the manual. Handle all service problems with authorized service centers. They might be a little more expensive than the regular service centers but they will only have the original parts needed for your equipment, they would last longer. The local service centers have people scamming the consumers with fake parts and sometimes over pricing the basic charges.Every consumer must show more respect to the planet we live in. Never buy things that are not needed. There are many environment friendly alternatives for every problem. All the waste that is accumulated due to improper disposal of consumer electronics leads to many disastrous results such as extinction of animals and dangerous to us humans. When people are more conscious about our environment, they would definitely take more initiative to keep our environment clean and hazard free.