14 May 2015
A staggering 41.8 million tons of electronic waste was thrown away in 2014, with the mammoth pile made up of refrigerators, televisions, vacuum cleaners, washing machines and many more everyday electrical appliances cast onto the rubbish heap. Of course, much of this could and should have been recycled. Surprisingly, many countries famed for their recycling records and environmental awareness, such as Norway, Switzerland and Iceland, have climbed their way to the top of the global waste mountain.
The United States and China currently top the global worst e-waste offenders list, producing 32 per cent of the world's total. However, if we look at the figures on a per capita basis, unexpectedly it's Norway that tops the world's e-waste mountain, generating 62.4lbs per inhabitant. The UK has made its way to 5th position, with a total of 51.8lbs per capita.
"Let every individual and institution now think and act as a responsible trustee of Earth, seeking choices in ecology, economics and ethics, thatwill provide a sustainablefuture, eliminate pollution, poverty and violence, awaken the wonder of life and foster peaceful progressin thehuman adventure." - John McConnell (Founder of International Earth Day)
In many parts of New York for example, there have long been designated "e-cycling" stations where people can drop-off their obsolete and unwanted technology products. But from the beginning of the year, it actually became illegal to simply throw away old laptops, games consoles and TVs. "The New York Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act" requires manufacturers to set up and fund programmes for the collection and recycling of electronic waste in New York State, with the e-waste law designed to prevent heavy metals, acids and other hazardous materials from contaminating soil and drinking water, with offenders found flouting the law fined $100 for each violation. The law is also designed to relieve the burden on local municipalities of the costly management of hazardous e-waste.
The importance of responsible computer recycling has never been so vital to reduce the risk of pollution. So if your company is one that is committed to the ethical recycling of its obsolete computers and technology products, make sure secure and environmentally friendly computer recycling that adheres to proper recycling regulations is part of your consideration. Be sure only to use a computer recycling company that operates in accordance with, and preferably exceeds all government guidelines such as the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.