The Effect of Electronic Waste on Children

The advancement of digital devices has changed the world – mostly for the better. However, there is a growing issue of electronic waste or e-waste that is having a devastating effect, particularly on children. The buildup of e-waste over the past couple of decades has been enormous. The health effects are only now being fully seen, especially among children. 

What is Electronic Waste? 

E-waste is the term used to describe electronic products that are on the verge of no longer being useful or useable. This can include electronics such as TVs, smartphones, fax and printer machines, computers, etc. If any of these electronics break or become outdated, that is when they often become eligible for being refurbished or recycled. 

E-waste recycling is a massive market with facilities placed all around the world. It is estimated that more than 18 million children are engaged in e-waste recycling. Although recycling itself is a good thing, certain elements that can be found in electronics can also be harmful to humans, especially children, such as lead and mercury. Such exposure can hinder their mental development and create serious, long-term health issues. 

Electronic Waste Is A Growing Issue

The volume of e-waste around the world has grown by more than 20% just in the past five years. Today, it is estimated that the amount of e-waste created is the equivalent of filling up 350 cruise ships.

As the use of computers, smartphones, and other electronic devices continues to grow, so will the volume of electronic waste. With just over 17% being sent to proper recycling centers, the rest is dumped illegally. This exposes its harmful elements to adults and children. And while the effects on those living in third-world countries are the most apparent, cases of wrongful e-waste and contamination are growing in countries such as the United States and Europe as well. 

The effect on health is considerable. The effect that e-waste has on the environment is quite damaging. With more areas subject to illegal dumping, the underground market for e-waste materials continues to grow. That means more toxic chemicals being released into the environment making for a more dangerous world. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you have electronic or e-waste on your property, Brickley Environmental can help. We offer our knowledge, experience, and equipment that will identify and remove your waste. Our trained technicians understand how to safely remove waste from properties like yours. In addition, we offer several other services as well which include the following. 

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Demolition
  • Hazardous Waste Removal 
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal
  • Mold Remediation & More 

For additional information about e-waste, click here to view the EPA website.

Mold vs. Mildew – The Similarities and Differences

Mold vs. Mildew – The Similarities and Differences

Although mildew and mold are funguses, there are some important differences that you need to know. This is because the differences are such that they will shape how you clean away the organisms from your home, office, or facility.

Similarities – Mold & Mildew

Both mold and mildew are organisms that grow on organic materials. Both are essentially harmless until they reach a warm, moist atmosphere. The moisture will spark both organisms to grow rapidly and consume whatever organic materials are nearby. Mold and mildew will grow on food, shower basins, and especially wood products that include paper.

It is the growth of mold and mildew that must be checked if you want to preserve the structural support of your residence or business assuming it is made from wood. However, there are some important differences that you need to know as well.

Differences – Mold & Mildew

The most important difference is that mildew is a surface organism that does not penetrate materials nearly to the same extent as mold. This means that if you see the familiar page of white or gray patches, then all you really need is a cleaner and scrubbing brush. Because mildew sticks to the surface, it can be removed rather easily. However, mold is far more insidious as it penetrates surfaces to consumer-organic materials. It’s green or black coloring is easy to identify just like mildew. However, the damage it creates is far more extensive.

If not caught in time, the materials themselves may have to be repaired or replaced. Under dry conditions, mold is generally harmless. The spores may cause a mild allergic reaction to those who are sensitive, but that is the extent of the trouble it causes.

Humid or moist conditions, such as those found in the interior of buildings next to water sources cause both funguses to grow. However, with mold, the growth is far more extensive and damaging. In addition to destroying organic materials, there are certain types of mold that are toxic in nature. However, toxic mold is rare.

Symptoms of inhaling the spores from toxic mold include allergic reactions, headaches, and it can be harmful to those with respiratory issues.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect the presence of these issues, call the experts at Brickley Environmental. We have the expertise to identify and remove funguses from homes and buildings using proven techniques.

For more information on mold & mildew, visit another BrickleyEnv article HERE.

To see more information on the dangers of mold & mildew, visit the CDC.

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.

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.

E-Waste: Always A Problem

There are many different types of waste, but electronic waste, or e-waste, is generally harder to get rid of for a number of reasons.

What is E-Waste?

E-waste is a term applied to the waste created by discarded computers, mobile devices, servers, cameras, storage devices, and more. Once the electronic device is no longer needed, it tends to be difficult to get rid of because of the investment placed in such a device and the different disposal options that must be followed.

In other words, just dumping a computer and monitor in the trash is not a viable option; it must be sent to the proper place first.

Proper Disposal for E-Waste

When you are ready to dispose of your e-waste, you do have several options that comply with local and state laws.

Proper Disposal: You will need to confer with the laws to see which disposable methods can be used for your electronic device. They do vary from state to state, but generally speaking, you will need to follow certain guidelines when disposing of the device.

Give to Someone Else: If the device is still in working condition, then you can donate it to someone you know or a charity that accepts them. You’ll find organizations around your community that take in devices of all types, update them, and give the devices to those in need.

Recycle: There are recycling centers that can refurbish the device or strip it of its parts for use in other devices. Recycling is a popular business in many communities and can be a profitable one for those who have access to considerable amounts of e-waste.

Disposal Concerns

If security is a concern, you can always destroy the memory storage systems so they cannot be used again. The organizations that accept donations will remove all data and information from the device so that it cannot be used against you.

Getting rid of e-waste may be harder than most initially think because of the various rules and regulations. The good news is that there are professional companies designed to help you in ridding your property of such waste.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you need to get rid of e-waste, then the professionals at Brickley Environmental are here for you. At Brickley Environmental, you will have knowledgeable, experienced professionals at your disposal to offer sound advice and take the necessary actions to clean your property of e-waste quickly and safely.