Improper disposal of IT equipment is becoming an increasingly hazardous environmental issue. The materials that make up IT solutions can become toxic or harmful if not correctly dealt with. The local wildlife populace has been affected by this problem in the past.
The monitor is the most dangerous and hazardous component of a computer. On average it contains 4-5lbs of lead. Lead, of course is widely considered to be one of the most hazardous materials there is. Due to this, there have been laws set in place to ensure that throughout Europe and the Americas (in most areas) improper disposal does not occur. A definitive set of standards are very clearly set in place.
One of these standards directives is the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive – often referred to as the WEEE Directive. In 2007 the WEEE Directive became law – its aims are to ensure the electrical waste avoids ending up in landfill sites but is instead reused and recycled. For the most part, electrical equipment that is disposed of is still in working order therefore its ideal fate is to be recycled – quite often into other developing countries.
When you come to dispose of your old electrical equipment you should always consider alternative ways to recycle it. You should always try to think what can be thrown away and where it can be thrown away. This will also point out items that cannot be disposed of. Unlike understanding what types of paper and plastic can be thrown away, electrical disposal is not as simple. However, with a little advice and guidance, it becomes much more understood.
In terms of identifiable marks on electronic items, if you see a wheelie bin sticker with an X through it this means it is non-recyclable and cannot be disposed of with normal waste. After asking around to see if your old electrical items can find a new home, consider recycling it appropriately. Although the item as a whole may be of no use, it may well be that some of the parts can be reused and recycled.
Try to find a retailer specialising in WEEE. These retailers usually take used mobiles phones, games and other technological devices as trade-ins. Many of these places will also take larger items of IT equipment from you for a small fee or sometimes at no cost.
Some local council’s run a collection service for unwanted electrical waste, the contact details for these services should be easy to find online or in a local telephone directory.
By recycling electrical waste as best you can, you can be sure that you are contributing to being one step closer to a world free from harmful waste.