The World Has an E-Waste Problem

What was once an issue that barely caused a ripple is now being seen as a major problem. Electronic waste or E-Waste has increased many-fold over the past few years. Currently, around six million pounds of discarded electronic devices are being processed each month at one plant in Fresno run by ERI. That is a fraction of what is being discarded by Americans every month. 

With a new generation of 5G devices, the number of devices that will soon be hitting the recycling bins will be astounding. And while it is good that many of these devices will either be recycled whole or have their important components such as aluminum, copper, and steel removed so they can be reused, it is still a massive issue. 

Why E-Waste is Growing

The answer is simple, the thirst for the latest, fastest electronics means that more people are getting rid of their older ones even if they still are in good condition. Consider that from 2010 to 2017, Americans increased their spending on new communication devices and telephones almost five times over. However, the $71 billion spent in 2017 may be dwarfed by the amount that will be spent on a new generation of devices that promises even faster download speeds. 

The introduction of 5G will result in a changeover of devices that may be on a greater scale compared to when people switched from black and white televisions to color. This transition is great for businesses that produce 5G devices but represents a massive challenge for the proper recycling and disposal of older gadgets, mobile devices, and other components that are not up to the 5G standards. 

Hazardous Waste From Electronic Devices

You may be surprised to learn about the hazardous materials found inside many devices. Substances such as mercury and beryllium pose dangers to the health of the environment and all living things that come into contact with these materials. Although their presence in individual devices is quite small and generally harmless, when added together with other disposed materials, it represents a significant problem. 

Currently, only 19 states have laws governing the disposal of E-Waste. This means 31 states in which electronic waste can be dumped into landfills. Even in the states that ban such practices, it is left to the consumer to properly dispose of or recycle their old devices. 

One way to address the situation is to make electronic devices sturdier and more resilient. This means having batteries that can easily be replaced. Modern rechargeable batteries are often good for only two years. Not being able to replace them only sends the devices to the garbage bin. 

That is why better solutions are needed if business owners and consumers are to address the growing issue of electronic waste.  

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you are facing a situation with electronic waste or E-Waste, Brickley Environmental has the knowledge, experience, and equipment needed to help solve your problem. We offer a wide range of waste management solutions in the Southern California area.

For more information on E-Waste, click here to visit the EPA website.

Clean and Effective E-Waste Recycling

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.

Pulse Power

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.

Why Electronic Waste is Becoming a Big Concern

The high demand for the latest electronic devices, such as computers, laptops, and mobile devices, has created an enormous amount of electronic waste, or e-waste, around the world. Given how quickly new and improved devices are on the market, it means even more devices are now outdated and considered somewhat useless in most cases.

The result is a build-up of electronic waste that in some countries is reaching alarming proportions. In India, for example, the country has quickly become the fifth largest generator of e-waste in the world. This is because of a massive effort starting in the 1990s to modernize the country. This resulted in many industries, particularly the telecom sector, to start using modern equipment.

However, this growth has resulted in a large amount of old, outdated technology being thrown out. While the telecom industry is the major contributor, the citizens of India are not far behind as they tend to dispose of their mobile devices every two years. Only recently has the government of India started work towards addressing the e-waste issue.

Recycling Efforts

Currently, the worldwide rate of recycling electronic waste is roughly 20 percent. In India, the number is an astounding 1.5 percent. This has resulted in a massive e-waste build-up that is only now being addressed. Even though some sectors of the country have started recycling programs, many citizens are ill-informed about the purpose of the recycling centers and bring their standard waste or garbage to the recycling locations in addition to their e-waste.

The traditional disposal methods do not work well for e-waste, which tends to pollute the water that runs from and under the landfills. The elements inside the electronic waste infect the soil and make it unfit for cultivation. Plus, many electronic devices contain cadmium, lead, and mercury, which poison the body and cause damage to the liver, lungs, kidneys, nervous system, bones, and brain.

Although there are challenges in India, there is also hope. The combination of private and public entities are starting to form around establishing recycling centers and educating the public. However, the conditions that exist in India have quickly become problematic for many developing countries around the world.

While the US and many European nations have recycling programs in place, developing countries that are now turning to new technologies are facing challenges on how to properly recycle or dispose of the building e-waste problem.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If your business has old electronic devices, such as outdated computers or tablets, and would like to get rid of them, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. Our experienced staff will listen to your needs and provide the personnel, tools, and equipment to act. We can remove large amounts of e-waste from your office or facility quickly and safely

Recycling Programs Initiated for Unwanted Electronic Equipment and Styrofoam Products

Recently, the residents of Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, gained access to a new, free recycling center for unwanted electronic devices and some forms of Styrofoam. Thanks to a grant by the Environmental Commission, this new program promises to be more convenient for residents to dispose of unwanted waste materials.

Electronic Devices

The devices that qualify for proper recycling in the new facility include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Monitors, televisions, and computers
  • Tablets, laptops, and e-readers
  • Printers, copy machines, and fax machines

Before dropping off your electronic items for recycling, you may want to consider selling or donating the ones that are still in working condition. There are several places that accept donations where people can use electronic devices for their needs. In some cases, you may want to remove all your information from the drive itself.

Given the amount of electronic waste in the US, having a place to recycle such devices provides the citizens of Berkeley Heights a way to get rid of the unwanted materials with a clear conscious. It also provides a means to recycle parts, wiring, and components into new products. This approach will help save money over the long run by reusing old materials.

Styrofoam

A new recycling program for products made from Styrofoam has also been launched in Berkeley Heights. The products that may be recycled should have all adhesives, stickers, and tape removed before disposing of. Some of the products that qualify include the following:

  • Packaging foam for furniture and appliances
  • Block form foam
  • White clean foam

Be advised that there are several products made from Styrofoam that cannot be included for recycling purposes, such as foodservice foam, dark-colored foam, egg cartons, peanut foam, cardboard foam, and foam that is dirty or wet.

This may be of concern to residents who have considerable amounts of Styrofoam products but cannot have them recycled because of the additional inks and coloring that is present. This is why egg cartons are not allowed even though they are mostly made from Styrofoam.

Brickley Environmental Offers Answers

If you have questions about what to do with the waste generated by Styrofoam or old electronic devices in your residence, office, or facility, call Brickley Environmental today and get the answers you need.