What is E-Waste
When batteries, thermostats, electronics, oil, and other potentially hazardous wastes are improperly disposed of, they can harm public health and the environment. Batteries and e-waste—such as computers, printers, and cell phones—contain toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. When they are thrown away in the trash, they end up in landfills, and these toxic compounds can leach into soil and water, polluting lakes and streams and making Sthem unfit for drinking, swimming, fishing, and supporting wildlife.
Returning your used electronics for responsible recycling, rather than throwing them in the trash.
Watching what you buy:In addition to making sure these wastes are disposed of correctly, where possible, you should purchase less-toxic and reusable products to reduce the amount of potentially hazardous wastes needing disposal.
KNOW WHERE IT GOES
The key to responsible e-waste recycling is knowing where your stuff will end up. Watch out for any recycler who ships discarded electronics to developing countries for processing. Avoiding sending our garbage overseas saves on greenhouse gas emissions and helps protect workers and the environment in developing countries. According to the Basel Action Network, upwards of 80 percent of the world's e-waste is transported to Asia, and most of it winds up in China. Workers who disassemble consumer electronics by hand are exposed to toxic substances, which also contaminate groundwater.
DONATE OR SELL
Giving away or selling used electronics are great ways to extend their use and keep them out of landfills. Some services provide second-hand computers to schools or nonprofits, so your functional old computer could become a valuable tool for someone in need. Please assure that whomever you donate your used electronics to will use an e-Stewards certified recycler at the electronics' end of life.
You may also want to consider incorporating language into future contracts with suppliers of electronics equipment, specifying that they take back these products at the end of their use for recycling and environmentally responsible disposal.