The Nasty Business of Trashed Tech: Where Does It End Up?

The Nasty Business Of Trashed Tech Where Does It End Up
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    It’s no secret that technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives. According to Moore’s law, the speed and capability of computers are expected to double every two years. However, even Moore’s Law cannot keep up with the rapid pace of technology. Roughly every 18 months or so, computer processing speed doubles, and the number of transistors that can fit in a microchip is growing at an unprecedented rate.

    In 2017, the number of transistors that fit into a microprocessor was over 10 billion. In 1971, it was under 10,000. Although analysts predict that the growth rate will become slower over the next decade, there’s no denying how far we’ve already come.

    It’s important to consider how the acceleration of tech impacts the earth we live in. In a world where we’re expected to update our cell phones and computers every two years, where does it all end up? The truth is, the amount of electronic waste is reaching a critical mass. Our gaming systems, smartphones, televisions, and computers play a role. Unfortunately, these devices are chock full of harmful toxins.

    And with devices emerging all the time, there’s a fresh batch of tech devices waiting to be discarded. So always be sure about the results and make a careful comparison with the best possible feature points to get satisfactory solutions. According to Elemental Inc, a company that offers computer recycling services in Philadelphia, millions of pounds of technology are dumped at recycling plants every month.

    One of the biggest issues with computers and cell phones is that often, it’s easier to replace those items than to refurbish them. For example, to replace a Retina display on a Macbook, you can expect to pay between $400 and $800. So, assuming there are newer models of that MacBook—and chances are there are—it might be financially better to buy a completely new, updated laptop. However, understanding how technology and recycling play a role in our health and environment can change your perspective. Here’s what you need to know:

    Harmful Toxins in Technology

    Dead electronics are the world’s fastest-growing source of waste. In 2005, the United States generated 2.6 million tons of electronic waste, and only 12.6% of it was recycled. In addition, roughly two-thirds of the electronic waste was still functioning properly when it was disposed of, making it even more harmful to the environment if it’s broken during transportation to landfill because it releases toxic chemicals into the environment.

    But why are these electronics so bad for the environment? To understand this, it’s important to understand the chemicals that discarded electronics contain. This includes lead, mercury, barium, and lithium. These toxic components have negative health effects on the brain, heart, and skeletal system. They can also hurt the nervous and reproductive systems in the body.

    Improper disposal of electronic waste also severely impacts our environment. For example, it directly affects the soil of a particular region; when e-waste breaks down, heavy metals like cadmium, arsenic, and lead are released into the soil and hurt the plants and trees surrounding it and support the environment. From here, it’s easy for those toxins to enter the human food supply through crops.

    The Nasty Business Of Trashed Tech Where Does It End Up

    Improper Disposal of Recycled Technology

    Although technology recycling efforts have ramped up over recent years, not all recycling companies are creating equally. A two-year investigation conducted by the Basel Action Network found that some companies export their electronics rather than recycling.

    The group partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to add geolocating tracking devices to 200 electronic products given to electronic recycling centres, take-back programs, and donation centres. A third of the trackers went overseas, with some going as far as 12,000 miles. Many tracked electronics ended up in Kenya, Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, and China.

    A 2001 film called “Exporting Harm: The High-Tech Trashing of Asia” revealed some of the harsh recycling methods that happen overseas. The film highlighted Guiyu, a small group of villages in China regarded as “America’s electronic graveyard.” The video showed several villagers burning circuit boards over coal-fired grills and soaked computer chips in hydrochloric acid to mine pieces of gold.

    Guiyu’s e-waste industry made it a region with some of the highest cancer-causing dioxins in the world. Before proceedings, make sure which type of feature plans can proceed and how to achieve your objectives to proceed through online easy and easy approaching standards.

    Varying Opinions

    Still, the notion that a large amount of recycling companies exports their waste is debated greatly. According to Eric Harris of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the vast majority of electronics sent to recycling centres in the United States are handled directly in the country. The United Nations estimates that 10 to 40% of electronic waste is sent overseas for dismantling. At the same time, another report from the International Trade Commission stated that only 0.13% of electronics collected in the United States went abroad for dismantling.

    Find the Right Electronic Recycling Center

    Finding the “right” data and reading between the numbers can be difficult. As a result, you need to research the electronic recycling programs you choose to use. Although many tout themselves as sustainable and eco-friendly, a simple Google search can reveal whether a particular company has been investigated before.

    You can also ask the company questions about their sustainability practices and what they do with electronics like yours. Great companies are happy to help you better understand the process behind recycling and educate you about your donation.

    Selection of the right electronic recycling centre can be assistive to get fast results in less timeframe. Never take your quick action plans until you are not sure about the feedback and the best-expected results. Proceed after getting useful acknowledgement and make sure how to match with your priorities and the interests levels to proceed through simple and easy approaching standards.


    Thank you for reading!