The announcement of the first international e-waste day, which took place on 13 October 2018, is a welcome indication that the world is finally waking up to one of the most harmful side-effects of the electronic age. As our love for, and reliance on, technology continues to increase, so the manufacturers press on with upgraded and enhanced versions of the gadgets we use in day to day life. Inevitably, tech becomes obsolete within a short period, and disposal of old handsets, laptops and peripherals is becoming a growing problem.
A recent report shows the scale of the problem in Thailand, which is in danger of drowning under a tide of toxic e-waste. But the issue is a global one. In the western world, some 70 percent of the hazardous waste that finds its way into landfill is from electronic gadgets.
Changing Attitudes on a Global Scale
In many ways, the problem with e-waste echoes what we are already seeing with plastic bottles. The difference is that it is not too late to do something about it before our e-waste turns into both an environmental and economic disaster. It is a simple matter to find a website for a specialist company that can dispose of e-waste safely and responsibly. The real challenge is to educate users as to why they need to do so.
Saving Precious Resources
As smart technology gets smarter, so the materials used in its manufacture become more exotic. Cadmium, lead and mercury are used in batteries and are highly toxic. But that is only the beginning. The increased processing needs of the latest smartphones and laptops have led to the more widespread use of precious metals like gold, iridium and ruthenium. Incredibly, only 20 percent of global e-waste is currently recycled, meaning these highly valuable and scarce resources are effectively lost forever.
Keeping Your Information Safe
Given the above, it can come as little surprise that there is something of a black market in e-waste that is not properly disposed of through official, regulated channels. There are plenty of people willing to rifle through all that trash and see what they can find and resell. From an ecological perspective, that is no bad thing. However, it is not just the raw materials that are recovered.
Electronic data is also a valuable resource, and many of those old handsets and hard drives contain personal data that has not been properly wiped. Given this context, it is little wonder that identity fraud continues to rise unabated.
Reusing is Even Better Than Recycling
Around half of the tech we discard is still operational, and simply surplus to requirements following an upgrade. Selling it through a professional platform offers the ideal solution for everyone. It provides low-cost tech for those who cannot afford to buy new, and every article reused is one less going into landfill. It also provides some welcome trade-in value for the seller and supports an industry that is steadily growing year on year.