The rise of electronic devices, from televisions and radios to computers, laptops, mobile devices, and so much more, has created an electronic waste, or e-waste, issue. With over 50 million tons of e-waste being generated every year, only about 10 million tons are being recycled. The rest piles up in landfills where the toxic materials are starting to cause concern.
The natural solution is recycling, but e-waste is different from most items that undergo the recycling process. There is the added expense of stripping away the materials from devices which cannot be recycled. Plus, some e-waste has toxic elements that must be carefully handled, which also adds to the overhead in terms of recycling.
Traditional recycling methods use chemical baths or mechanical crushers to start the transformation process of the material. However, they can be complicated, expensive, and cause health issues when not performed properly.
A chemical bath produces harmful effects in the atmosphere, in which those who work inside are particularly vulnerable. Mechanical crushers break apart items in a manner that may have unexpected results, especially if toxic materials are found inside. Plus, such devices may not be well-suited for separating certain materials, which in the end causes even more waste to be produced.
In Japan, researchers have developed a new recycling method that uses pulsed electric discharges or pulse power to process all types of materials into something that can be recycled. From e-waste to concrete and to water that needs to be treated, pulse power is providing a solution that more companies and organizations are investigating.
How Pulse Power Works
Electrical charges are used to break apart materials in a clean, efficient manner. For e-waste, which often combines both recyclable and non-recyclable materials, this is a simple way to separate the components so they can be handled properly.
For example, CD-ROMs are a common form of e-waste consisting of plastic and metal components. Such components can be separated with an average of 30 electronic pulses. Because the pulses use electricity only, there are no additional materials to purchase, such as the ingredients used for chemical baths. Nor is the equipment used in pulse power devices likely to breakdown as with mechanical recycling machines, which need constant maintenance and monitoring.
In addition, the electricity used is cheap and works on many different types of items that used materials from different sources. Once the materials are separated, they can either be recycled or disposed of properly with less contamination.
Solving Your Waste Recycling Needs
If your company is seeking solutions to its e-waste issues, Brickley Environmental can help. Offering services that help companies identify, remove, and recycle electronic waste, Brickley Environmental has the trained experience and personnel along with the right equipment to get the job done.