Discarded electronic items are one of the most commonly discarded items in developing and highly developed countries. Dubbed as e-waste, the laundry list of electronic waste continues to grow as technology advances. Televisions, stereos, cell phones, computers – each and every variation of these items contains toxins and materials hazardous to the environment. When improperly disposed of, toxins and poisons can quickly become an issue, many of these items acting as carcinogens as well.
Mercury, an element found in electronic devices, can have lasting and damaging effects to both land and water supply functions. Even in cases of small exposure, the health effects on people and animals can be deadly. This makes the recycling of cell phones particularly important, as they are so often discarded. Beyond their mercury content, the plastic casings a wasteful source of landfill use, and an easily recyclable item. Cell phones are a hot ticket item for recycling and reuse as well, as they can typically undergo repair services and be put back into use once again.
In the US, there are federal laws that prohibit and punish improper disposal of electronic devices. States such as California have taken this a step further, enacting their own laws as well, notating that simply tossing electronics out is a form of dumping hazardous waste and is subsequently illegal.
Looking for a quick list of electronic items that are typically the target of recycling? Look no further! The go-to items for many government and private organizations are as follows:
1. TVs, computers and other electronic devices that have CRT or cathode ray tubes in its components
2. Desktop monitors, laptops, notebook computers, LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TV models and Plasma displays
3. Any portable CD and DVD players, notably those with LCD screens
Even if recycling electronics is not mandated by law, it should be mandated by its users. Recycling possibilities are endless. Ranging from being environmentally sound to reducing energy to finding creative solutions for reuse and sustainability, recycling items we are no longer in need of is a responsibility that should be shouldered by anyone making such purchases.