Today, most of our livelihood depends on various computer products. But as time progresses and manufacturers create more advanced tech, we’re forcing ourselves to throw away outdated devices, which, unfortunately, generates irreversible environmental and health damage if computer recycling is not done properly.
According to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), only less than 20 percent of computer waste is officially recycled, which is extremely low, considering we can repurpose most materials inside a computer. That means 80 percent of such electronics end up in landfills or are improperly repurposed, increasing the life-threatening risks that our world faces.
Keep reading below to know why you should pay more attention to computer recycling.
Reduce toxic waste in land fills
Various e-waste contains harmful compounds, including mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, and beryllium, which are all damaging to the environment and human health. By recycling computers, you’re preventing their adverse effects when released into the air and water.
Meanwhile, if we continue to pack landfills with recyclable materials, like e-wastes, we’re increasing the need for more landfills, which is also dangerous to the environment. Landfills emit high levels of toxic chemicals from rotting waste, like methane gas, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and more.
That’s why in countries like Canada, computer recycling companies are prominent in helping address many problems caused by improper e-waste disposal.
Get new raw materials
Nearly all components of an old computer can be recycled and reused, including glass, keyboards, plastic casings, cables, circuit boards, and batteries. Reusing such materials means reducing the effort and resources needed to manufacture them from scratch, leading to less energy consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, sourcing new materials costs millions of dollars to conduct. Meanwhile, landfills are filled with e-materials, waiting to be reused but barely touched. Such a massive waste considering that metal, for instance, can be recycled repeatedly, and most e-wastes have recyclable metals, like silver and gold.
Apart from new computers, we can also help create other products by reusing e-wastes, including:
- Car parts
Keep in mind that these products also require their raw materials, resources, and energy to make. So, by repurposing e-waste, you’re reducing the environmental threats of mining new materials.
Secure data destruction
Deleting documents on your computer doesn’t always mean wiping the data completely. Making sure you delete your information is essential, whether on a personal or a work device, to prevent malicious individuals from scavenging any valuable digital assets from your e-waste. So throwing away your computers doesn’t just harm the environment but might also put you at risk for different cyber attacks.
Fortunately, many recycling companies offer e-material repurposing and proper data destruction. In Canada, for instance, most computer recycling in Montreal and other major cities provide services like data wiping and electronic collection to ensure that your devices go straight from your desks to the recycling shop to other computers and products.
Turn over your old computers
Our careless waste disposal could eventually trigger more severe environmental and health problems, and it might be too late to reverse the damage. Recycling companies may be on a mission to help prevent such catastrophes by repurposing various materials, but they still need our help. Turn over your computers to the professionals, and save lives in the process.
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