The term recycling refers to a system through which used and redundant products are collected, processed and used in making made new products. Thus, recycling can be referred to the productive procedure through which waste items can be transformed into valuable resources.
Due to the rapid technological advancements, many electronic gadgets like computers have become obsolete, which made their recycling a very relevant issue today. It has become necessary to reuse or recycle discarded obsolete computers to contribute to the environmental efforts. In recycling, obsolete gadgets or electronic items may serve a different purpose. That is, they may serve another function different from their original use or purpose. Another recycling process could be by repairing or updating of obsolete gadgets, instead of just throwing them away, in order to serve its original purpose and prolong its usability.
At the present time, a group of world famous environmentalists and scientists have reported their concern about computers and electronics disposal. They advocated that this process of recycling is the answer to the increasing number of e-waste products around the world.
Approximately 40 million tons of discarded and obsolete gadgets are produced every year and is expected to increase exponentially in numbers over the next decade. This is becoming a major concern mainly because the electronic components of the discarded computers contain toxins such as mercury, lead oxide, cadmium, zinc and nickel. These toxic chemicals are hazardous to humans as well as the environment. Governmental, non-profit and private agencies have surveyed the process in which computer disposal is carried out in the most developed and developing nations of the world. Their research revealed that safe recycling and disposal methodology has not yet been standardized globally. Statistics of their report shows that an average of 15% of the electronic wastes is actually recycled into new products.
BENEFITS OF RECYCLING YOUR LAPTOP OR DESKTOP COMPUTER
Computer recycling is advocated for a whole lot of benefits that relate to environment, finance and society. These benefits include:
• ECO-FRIENDLY BENEFITS
The environment is being impacted negatively by the level of computer and electronic waste that is regularly produced. This waste is dumped and grows over time until the resource becomes scarce as a result of e-waste and old devices being used up. The waste takes up a lot of space, contributing significantly to the spread of the harmful toxins. Therefore, it is important to consider recycling computers to help protect the environment by reducing pollution, diminished generation of greenhouse gases, lesser climatic change and sustenance of the ecology.
• HEALTH BENEFITS
Gases, plastics among other products are used to produce most of the electronics including computers. Lead is a harmful content that is utilized for manufacturing computers. It poses threats to anyone who is exposed to the element. Making the decision to damp the computer to the landfills has the ability of causing serious health problems.
• ECONOMIC BENEFITS
Recycling parts of the computer like the batteries, keyboard, printer cartridges, CD Rom drive, metal from the circuit board, plastic case, copper in the power cord, cables and the cathode ray tube (CRT) etc., will prevent using additional resources to manufacture them again. This also saves up the energy required for the process of manufacturing.
• PREVENTS MISUSE OF RESOURCES
Computer recycling inculcates a sense of discipline by preserving natural resources as opposed to utilizing them rapidly. This will prevent a situation where electronic waste is sent to developing or third world countries, resulting in a situation where workers are exposed to harmful elements present in the computers.
• GROWTH OF MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY
Recycling process contributes to the growth of the manufacturing industry. Expansion of the manufacturing industry of a nation promises greater employment and improved national competitiveness resulting to societal growth with more number of employed and earning citizens.
Recycling your laptop or desktop computer is not just one way of reducing the surplus of obsolete computer gadgets but it is one huge step towards the reduction of toxic chemicals released in the environment due to e-waste. Several organizations have now taken notice and have taken steps to counter e-waste but consumers also need to be aware of this problem and realize how important recycling is, even when it comes to technology.