The Alarming Impact of E-waste on Our Environment and Health.

Impact of E-waste

The Environmental Impact of E-waste: Causes and Effects.

Impact of E-waste
in this blog post , here Explained what is E-waste & How to recycle E- Waste?

Electronic waste, or e-waste, is a growing environmental concern around the world. The improper disposal of e-waste can lead to severe environmental pollution, health hazards, and resource depletion. E-waste contains hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium that can seep into the soil, air, and water, posing serious risks to humans, wildlife, and ecosystems. Additionally, e-waste disposal often involves burning, which releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. The Impact of E-waste on the environment is significant, and it’s crucial that we take action to address this problem. Proper e-waste management practices, including recycling and upcycling, can help minimize the environmental impact and promote a more sustainable future.

E-waste, also known as Electronic waste, is a growing concern in today’s world. It refers to any electronic device that has reached the end of its useful life and has been discarded, such as computers, televisions, smartphones, and other electronic gadgets. E-waste contains toxic materials that can cause environmental damage and harm human health if not disposed of properly.

The problem with e-waste is that it is often not properly recycled or disposed of, and instead ends up in landfills or is shipped to developing countries where it is burned or dismantled by hand. This can lead to the release of toxic chemicals into the air, soil, and water, and can pose a serious threat to human health.

One of the biggest challenges in dealing with e-waste is the sheer volume of it. As technology advances and new devices are introduced into the marr`ket, older devices become obsolete and are often discarded, leading to a growing pile of e-waste. In addition, many people do not know how to properly dispose of their electronic devices, leading to even more waste.

To address this issue, there are a few steps that can be taken. First, consumers can try to reduce their e-waste by keeping their devices for as long as possible, repairing them when possible, and recycling them when they are no longer needed. Many cities and municipalities have e-waste recycling programs in place, and there are also private companies that specialize in e-waste recycling.

Second, manufacturers can take steps to reduce the amount of e-waste that is produced by designing products that are more easily repairable and recyclable. This could include using modular designs that allow individual components to be replaced, as well as designing products with materials that are easier to recycle.

Finally, governments can play a role in addressing the issue of e-waste by implementing policies and regulations to encourage proper disposal and recycling of electronic devices. This could include establishing e-waste recycling programs, setting standards for the design and production of electronic devices, and providing incentives for companies that engage in responsible e-waste management.

Also Read: What is E-Waste and what is  E waste impact on Urban India

In today’s era of technology, the use of electronic devices has become an integral part of our lives. However, with the increasing use of electronic devices, the generation of electronic waste, also known as e-waste, has become a significant concern.

E-waste refers to any electronic device or equipment that is no longer in use or has become obsolete. These devices may include computers, mobile phones, printers, television sets, and other electronic equipment. Due to their toxic and non-biodegradable nature, e-waste has become a major environmental concern.

The improper disposal of e-waste can cause severe harm to the environment and human health. The hazardous materials used in electronic devices, such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, can leach into the soil and water, contaminating the environment. The burning of e-waste can release toxic fumes that can lead to air pollution and cause respiratory problems.

To address the issue of e-waste, many countries have implemented regulations and guidelines for its disposal. In India, the government has introduced the E-Waste Management Rules, 2016, which mandates that e-waste should be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

One of the most effective ways to manage e-waste is through recycling. Recycling electronic devices can help in the recovery of valuable resources such as copper, gold, and silver, which can be reused in the production of new electronic devices. Recycling also helps in reducing the amount of e-waste that ends up in landfills, thereby reducing the environmental impact.

To promote e-waste recycling, many companies have set up e-waste recycling centers. These centers collect and recycle electronic devices, ensuring that they are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Some companies also offer incentives for the recycling of electronic devices, encouraging people to dispose of their e-waste responsibly.

Apart from recycling, reducing the generation of e-waste is also important. This can be done by using electronic devices for longer periods and disposing of them only when they are no longer usable. Consumers can also opt for eco-friendly electronic devices that are designed to minimize the environmental impact.

In conclusion, e-waste is a major environmental concern that requires immediate attention. By promoting responsible e-waste management practices such as recycling and reducing the generation of e-waste, we can minimize the environmental impact and protect our planet for future generations.

The world generates about 50 million tonnes of e-waste each year, and only a fraction of it is recycled. Most e-waste ends up in landfills or is incinerated, which can release hazardous chemicals into the environment. The hazardous substances in e-waste, such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, can pollute the air, soil, and water, and pose a significant threat to the environment and human health.

Recycling e-waste is an effective way to minimize the environmental impact of these discarded items. E-waste recycling helps to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and minimizes the need to extract new resources for producing new electronics. It also helps to recover valuable materials such as gold, silver, and copper from old electronics that can be used to make new products.

However, e-waste recycling comes with its own set of challenges. Many electronic devices are designed to be difficult to recycle, and the recycling process can be complicated and expensive. Moreover, e-waste is often exported to developing countries, where it is recycled in unregulated and unsafe conditions, posing a threat to workers’ health and the environment.

To tackle the issue of e-waste, it is crucial to create awareness among people about the importance of proper disposal and recycling of electronic waste. Governments can also play a significant role by implementing policies and regulations to promote the proper disposal of e-waste and to hold companies accountable for the proper disposal of their products.

Individuals can also take steps to reduce their e-waste by:

  1. Buying only what they need and using electronic devices for as long as possible
  2. Donating or selling old electronic devices that are still in working condition
  3. Choosing electronics that are easy to repair and upgrade
  4. Finding reputable e-waste recyclers in their area and ensuring that their electronic devices are recycled properly.

Recycle E-Waste:

The recycling of e-waste involves the extraction of valuable metals, such as gold, silver, and copper, from electronic devices. By doing so, the metals can be reused, and fewer new resources need to be mined from the earth.

The process of recycling e-waste begins by collecting the devices. Many companies and organizations provide e-waste collection services to make it easy for individuals to dispose of their devices in an environmentally responsible manner. Once collected, the devices are transported to recycling centers where they are sorted by type and disassembled.

During the disassembly process, the components are separated and sorted based on their material composition. The valuable metals are then extracted, and the remaining materials are properly disposed of. The extracted metals are then purified and sent to manufacturers who can reuse them in the production of new electronic devices.

Recycling e-waste has several benefits, including reducing the amount of waste in landfills, conserving natural resources, and preventing the release of toxic materials into the environment. also to know more on Wikipedia: Electronics waste.

In conclusion, e-waste is a growing problem that requires action from all stakeholders – consumers, manufacturers, and governments – to address. By taking steps to reduce the amount of e-waste that is produced, properly disposing of and recycling electronic devices, and designing products that are more easily recyclable, we can help reduce the environmental impact of electronic devices and protect human health.

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E waste and E waste impact on Urban India

E 2Bwaste Guidebest Compost Techniques.

What is E-Waste and what is  E waste impact on Urban India

E waste impact on Urban India

E 2Bwaste Guidebest Compost Techniques.

E waste or simply electronic waste is the refuse that is basically a term for electronic products that have become unwanted, non working or in some cases obsolete and have reached the end of their useful life. Because of technological advances many electronic products become obsolete in a few years. E.g- Floppy disc, VCR’s and now recently DVD players etc. E waste is created from anything electronic : Computers, TV’s, monitors,Cell phones, VCR’s CD players etc. The recent surge in telecommunication and advent of smartphones and computers have impacted the digital divide in India to a considerable extent and has thus resulted in high electronic gadget penetration across a plethora of households in India (More than a billion mobile phone users).

Why is E waste management important ?

– Rich source of Raw material – Metals such as Gold, Silver, Palladium, Lead etc are generally found in Printed Circuit boards (PCBs) which can be extracted.

– Toxic materials in E waste – E waste also comprises of Lead, chromium , mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals which if not treated properly could lead to pollution of the environment.

E waste management – Process

The below flowchart explains the process of E waste management.

E waste

Global Scenario of E waste

Quantity of E-waste generated and the content of toxic and valuable materials, it has become an emerging problem throughout the world. In 1994, it was estimated that approximately 20 million that is about 7 million tons of PCs became obsolete. In 2010 this figure has increased to over 150 million PCs. 2 The exponential growth in production, falling prices , coupled with rapid advancements in technology making old technology obsolete within few years make the situation even more dire. In the United States about 80 million communication devices were sold (2003) which grew to 152 million in 2008 which means a growth of about 90% within 5 years. In the European Union (EU), the total units of electronic devices

2 “Electronic waste – an emerging threat to the environment of urban India.” placed on the market in 2009 were more than 3.8 billion units, including 265 million computers, roughly 245 million in home consumer electronics, and 197 million consumer appliances. In China, approximately 20 million refrigerators and more than 48 million TVs were sold in 2001, and nearly 40 million PCs were sold in 2009. Meanwhile there is also the problem of dumping E waste in developing 3 countries.

Indian Scenario of E waste.

India produces about 18.5 lakh MT every year. The Indian IT industry is one of the major drivers for the rapid Indian economic growth in last couple decades. The consumer sector in India is also becoming a huge market for electronic devices as such devices had contributed to the benefit of comfort, health security and nowadays even as a financial tool. To give an example the 2005 calculations of Country Level WEEE(Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) assessment study by IRGSSA (2005) shows 146,180 tonnes of e waste. In the year 2016 almost a decade later the all India WEEE level is at 18.5 lakh tonnes. The e waste generated has increased exponentially by 8 times in a short span of time.The graph below shows the generation of E waste in some of the Indian Cities year wise (2016).

3 “Electronic waste – an emerging threat to the environment of urban India.

e 2Bwaste 2Bblog1 Guidebest Compost Techniques.

4 “India to sit on e-waste pile of 30 lakhs MT with … – Assocham India.

e 2Bwaste 2Bblog Guidebest Compost Techniques.

The following is the composition of Indian E waste.

 

e 2Bawaste 2Bblog Guidebest Compost Techniques.

 

India’s efficiency of E waste treatment out of the total waste generated is only at 1.5%. This is majorly due to poor infrastructure, legislation framework which causes a waste of already diminishing natural resources and irreversible damage to environment and people who are working in this industry. A major chunk of the labour used in this sector is child labour. In India, about 4-5 lakhs child labours between the age group of 10-15 are observed to be engaged in various e-waste (electronic waste) activities, without adequate protection and safeguards in various yards and recycling workshops.5 In India most of the e waste management comes under the informal sector which results in lack of safety gear and safety measures when it comes to handling of such waste. This results in various contamination of the human bodies and lead to diseases as shown in the table below.

5 “India`s e-waste growing at 30% per annum … – Assocham India.blog 2Bewaste2 Guidebest Compost Techniques.

 

 

As more than 50 % of the labour employed are children (from 10- 15 years of age) especially in Urban areas, it results in endangering the life of young children thus affecting Urban health.

E waste Mitigation strategies.

Clearly the current state of E waste recycling and mitigation requires massive overhaul and upgradation in order to improve efficiency. The major roadblocks for E waste mitigation in India are.

– Due to informal nature, there is an inherent lack of data on E waste essential for policy analysis.

– Only a fraction of E waste which is estimated at 10% manage to find it’s way back to the recyclers due to absence of essential take back scheme for consumers.

– The lack of formal E waste recycling plants in India which also adheres to safety norms results in dependence on E waste recycling in informal settings which can pose challenges to health care and environment.

Waste management strategies for urban sustainability.

– There is no doubt that proper formal sector of E waste recycling can create employment generate resources and set up an industry that could lead to proper disposal of waste.

– It is high time the manufactures, consumers, regulators, municipal authorities, state governments, and policy makers take up the matter seriously so as to ensure that the urban city is not affected.

– Improvement in collection and recycling centers.

– Improvements in litigation and policy structure.

– Capacity Building, training and awareness programmes. Improvements in Collection and Recycling Structures. Many disposed of machines contain usable parts which could be rescued and joined with other utilised hardware to make a working unit. It is labour intensive work to excavate, examine and test components and afterward reassemble them into finished working machines. Institutional foundations, including e-waste collection, transportation, treatment, stockpiling, recuperation and transfer, should be set up, at national and additionally local levels for the optimal utilization of the e waste centers. These offices ought to be endorsed by the regulatory authority and if required fortified with adequate incentives. Foundation of e- waste gathering, trade and recycling ought to be empowered in association with governments, NGOs and manufacturers. Improvements in litigation and policy structure. Extended producer responsibility(EPR) is an ecological strategy approach in which a manufacturer’s obligation regarding an item is extended out to the post phase of the item’s life cycle, including its last disposal. The more greater the capacity of the actor to impact the ecological effects of the product framework, the greater the share of responsibility for addressing those impacts should be. Such actors are the buyers, the providers, and the item makers. Buyers can influence the environmental effects of items in various ways: by means of procurement decisions (picking earth neighbourly items), by means of support and the environmentally friendly operation of items, and by means of cautious transfer (e.g., isolated transfer of apparatuses for recycling). Manufacturers can diminish the life-cycle ecological effects of their items through their impact on product design, material choices, manufacturing processes, product delivery, and product system support. The framework configuration should be with the end goal that there are balanced checks and balance, particularly to avoid free riders .There should also be adequate implementation of laws just to make sure whether or not the compliance are met. Manufacturers should entice customers to exchange the old products through buyback mechanism. Also electronic items should have markings that could denote the levels of toxicity of E waste in India. This will enable easy identification of the products that could lead to an improved way of segregation.

Conclusion:

Solid waste Management , which is as of now a mammoth undertaking in India, is having additional problems by the intrusion of e-waste, especially PC’s . There exists a critical requirement for an itemized evaluation of the present and future situation including measurement, attributes, existing disposal practices, environmental effect and so forth. Institutional frameworks, including e-waste accumulation, transportation, treatment, stockpiling, recuperation and disposal, should be set up, at national as well as local levels for the optimal utilization of E-waste centers. Foundation of e-waste accumulation, trade and recycling focuses ought to be supported in organization with private businesses and manufacturers. management of e-wastes. Establishment of e-waste collection, exchange and recycling centers should be encouraged in partnership with private entrepreneurs and manufacturers.