Globally, people are becoming more aware of the environment and recycling has now become the norm, with most of us separating our plastics from our cans and paper. But what about mobile phones and laptops?
We are continuously upgrading our mobile phones and even laptops and tablets don't last a lifetime as product refresh cycles become ever shorter.
Technocare said that the average phone user in the US has 1.88 phones and in the
According to a Mobile Mountain Study, almost 40% of participants said that they keep their old phones for themselves, while just 20% gave them to family members or friends and 9% actually disposed of them as refuse. According to
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Most recycling schemes in the region help developing countries, as reuse is said to be the most environmentally friendly form of recycling. According to
Recycle Emirates, which has approved data wiping and destruction services, send working PCs for reuse in agriculture, health and education projects across
The issue of e-waste is rising globally, Behl said: "The disposal of electronics is the fastest-growing part of the world's trash problem, with an estimated 50m computers becoming obsolete annually. Every day, individuals and organisations around the globe dispose of mountains of e-scrap, containing hazardous and toxic materials that pose significant environmental risks: CRT monitors with toxic lead oxide that can leach into the ground water; PC-related components and batteries with chromium, nickel, zinc, mercury and other heavy metals; plastic equipment housings that can release dangerous gases if incinerated. Tossing your old PC equipment into the dumpster is not an option anymore for an educated society."
According to Technocare, the everyday smartphone contains mercury, lead, cadmium, brominated flame retardants, bromine and zinc. Other devices contain substances such as beryllium, lithium, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which, when enclosed in the device are safe, but when exposed, they provide a negative impact on the environment.
As well as recycling benefitting the environment by keeping hazardous materials at bay,
"Electronics as they are, are not hazardous; that is why you can simply use them at home. But when broken or landfilled, hazardous material may leach or escape to the atmosphere, soil, or water bodies. These toxic substances, such as lead, mercury, and others, can kill marine life, animals and plants, and can poison humans through contaminating soil and water. If consumed, such toxic substances can even cause cancers, birth defects, and many other health problems."
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Aside from environmental and social responsibility, money is said to be the biggest incentive for people to recycle and while most electronics are 100% recyclable, Chehade believes that the main obstacle and reason for the lack of recycling is the lack of a countrywide collection schemes, he said: "Seventy five per cent of the effort is yet to be done in terms of reaching a complete countrywide management of e-waste.
"Currently, most of those who care about recycling are those companies that are governed by ISO certifications, or others by the standards imposed on them by their international headquarters. Very few companies are doing it as a mere social responsibility or environmental initiative."
Most recycling companies in the
Ecyclex does not accept items that are leaking such as damaged batteries, or items that contain broken glass, such as broken lamps, but others accept items in any condition. For example,
Recycle Emirates will accept "any form of IT equipment in any condition," Behl said. "All equipment collected goes through the "Audit and Process" line at our processing facility. It starts with a complete audit and testing process to verify components, our refurbish engineers provide a cleaning of cosmetic surfaces, replacement of keyboard, capacitors, replacement of scratched or damaged LCD panels, and make note of any missing component parts such as memory, optical drives, power supplies, system boards and more that get completed by our in-house parts inventory. Even if a detailed, advanced repair is required, our experienced technicians have the experience to get the job done quickly and effectively to get the unit through to a last series of checks to confirm the unit is ready to be redeployed."
According to a
This statistic emphasises how important it is for people to use the recycling schemes available to them.
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