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What Can We Do About the Growing E-waste Problem?

Every year, we “Smart” humans’ throw away 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste, ranging from refrigerators and television sets to solar panels and cell phones.

Things aren’t looking well, given that we delivered 8% more than we did just two years ago. Furthermore, a rise of 21% in e-waste is anticipated in the next 5 years.

Falling prices have made electronics affordable to the majority of people around the world; meanwhile, people in wealthy countries are increasingly being persuaded to purchase early equipment replacement or entirely new products.

Many valuable elements such as gold, silver, copper, other high-value recoverable materials were not recovered worth $55,000,000,000, in the process of discarding E-Waste.

The world approximately generates 53.6 million tons of e-waste. That’s about 7.3 kilograms per person and equivalent in weight to 350 cruise ships.

The number of electrical and electronic equipment categories that account for 75 percent of global e-waste by weight, and also expected to see the most growth:

  • Small equipment, like vacuum cleaners, microwaves, ventilation equipment, toasters, electric kettles & Large equipment, like washing machines, clothes dryers, dish-washing machines, electric stoves, large printing machines, copying equipment, photovoltaic panels).
  • Temperature exchange equipment, like refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, heat pumps.

It is noted that the world’s population is 7.4 billion whereas there are 7.7 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions.

Toxic substances found in e-waste, such as mercury, brominated flame retardants, chlorofluorocarbons, and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, are more likely to be released into the atmosphere and harm people who live nearby without a reliable waste management system.

However, e-waste isn’t just a health risk. It also has a strong effect on global warming. Temperature-exchange equipment, such as that used in refrigerators and air conditioners, will slowly release greenhouse gases if it is dumped. If there is a silver lining to this grim scenario, it is that more countries are enacting e-waste regulations.

We are in the midst of a digital transformation, with robotics, sensors, and artificial intelligence changing every industry, our everyday lives, and our communities.

We can treat our equipment as if it were precious, not disposable. We can take care of what we have, repair when we can and donate when we can’t … and when all else fails, recycle responsibly.

For proper E-Waste disposal, get in touch with Alico Waste Experts today.

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