E-Waste

  • What is e-Waste?
    E-waste is a term used to cover almost all types of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) that has or could enter the waste stream. Although e-waste is a general term, it can be considered to cover TVs, computers, mobile phones, white goods (e.g. fridges, washing machines, dryers etc), home entertainment and stereo systems, toys, toasters, kettles – almost any household or business item with circuitry or electrical components with power or battery supply.

  • Electronic Waste Pollution
  • E-waste is of concern largely due to the toxicity of some of the substances if processed improperly.Informal processing of electronic waste in developing countries causes serious health and pollution problems. The toxicity is due to lead, mercury, cadmium and a number of other substances. A typical computer monitor may contain more than 6% lead by weight. Up to thirty-eight separate chemical elements are incorporated into e-waste items. The lack of sustainabilityof discarded electronics and computer technology is another reason for the need to recycle.


  • Recycling Electronic Waste Advantages and E-Waste Value

    Electrical waste contains hazardous but also valuable and scarce materials. Up to 60 elements can be found in complex electronics.The environmental and social benefits of reuse include diminished demand for new products and virgin raw materials (with their own environmental issues); larger quantities of pure water and electricity for associated manufacturing; less packaging per unit; availability of technology to wider swaths of society due to greater affordability of products; and diminished use of landfills.Recycling raw materials from end-of-life electronics is the most effective solution to the growing e-waste problem. Most electronic devices contain a variety of materials, including metals that can be recovered for future uses. By dismantling and providing reuse possibilities, intact natural resources are conserved and air and water pollution caused by hazardous disposal is avoided. Additionally, recycling reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the manufacturing of new products.

  • Most Hazardous E-Recycling Activity

    Acid Stripping of Chips -One of the major challenges is recycling the printed circuit boards from the electronic wastes. The circuit boards contain such precious metals as gold, silver, platinum, etc. and such base metals as copper, iron, aluminum, etc. Conventional method employed is mechanical shredding and separation but the recycling efficiency is low.In India this is done by using highly concentrated acids which emits dangerous fumes which can result in severe health problems.


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