Science Bloggers for Students DonorsChoose Challenge

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Keep E-Waste Out of Landfills


Some things just don’t belong in a landfill, no matter what. Disposed electronics and batteries that operate them are classic examples – some people call it e-waste. These materials just don’t degrade – they are not BIOdegradable. I other words, they aren’t made of organic or once living materials. Electronics are made of plastics, glass, and wires made from heavy metails . Leaving them exposed to wind, sun and water won’t deteriorate them like wood, and batteries are the worse. They leak materials in the soil that literally poisons the earth. Electronic waste accounts for 70 percent of the overall toxic waste that you currently find in landfills. In addition to valuable metals like aluminum, electronics often contain hazardous materials like lead and mercury. The best thing to do is recycle the materials, but I know that’s not easy to do. Our “easy” lifestyles actually make it hard to do the right thing.

Don’t throw away
· Old TVs, radios
· Telephones, cellular phones, answering machines, fax machines
· Computers, computer screens, scanners
· Cameras, digital recorders, camcorders, tape recorders
· Compact fluorescent light bulbs
· Batteries – no matter what size from watch batteries to car batteries
· Paint
What to do instead
· Consider fixing it, upgrading it and keep using it
· Donate it
· Recycle it
· Drop it off at a proper facility, often a municipally managed program


Visit Earth911 and you can tell them where you live what you have to throw away and it will list nearby recycling facilities.
Call your city waste office and they can tell you proper ways to dispose of these items. Some cities have special drop-off centers and pick up days for “special trash”.
Visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to learn more about e-waste and how to properly dispose of it.

Happy World Environment Day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the solutions I’ve found that help tackle e-waste and keep existing, outdated PCs going is to go with a company called Userful. They’re huge on green computing and can use a single existing PC to power up to ten workstations at once. This is a huge way to help combat e-waste and bring outdated PCs back to life. You can find out more on this here – http://www.userful.com.

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