What is E-Waste?

E-waste is the abbreviation given to the loose term ‘electronic waste’.

As you might have guessed, e-waste is made up of electronic items such as computers, phones, small appliances and other electrical goods.

In an office, e-waste could be any of the following:

  • Computers.
  • Printers.
  • Copiers.
  • Tablets.
  • Phones.

These items become e-waste when they reach the end of their useful life, or are simply superseded and thrown away.

Unfortunately, and especially in first world countries, the life spans of these items are becoming shorter, and as a result the amount being thrown away is increasing.

This is due to our need to consistently upgrade to the next best thing. We seem to have an unsated desire to have the newest phone, latest computer and fastest tablet available.

This culture of constant upgrading also applies to office based businesses.

Commercial operators are often updating to cutting-edge technology, trying to ensure their businesses are as efficient as possible, and to get ahead of the competition.

Unfortunately, this means office based businesses produce a large portion of all electronic waste across the world.

And currently, e-waste consists of more than five percent of all solid waste.

That may not sound like much, but it’s growing at an alarming rate.

Unlike many other forms of office rubbish and waste, e-waste can actually be quite valuable.

This is due to the precious metals and chemicals that make up parts of these machines, and the fact that many components can be recycled and reused, if extracted correctly.

Recyclable parts can include:

  • Precious metals.
  • Glass.
  • Aluminum parts.
  • Cords and wiring.
  • Batteries.
  • Motherboards.

In fact, many people are taking advantage of the loose laws and regulations around the disposal of e-waste by shipping this waste to third world countries.

They make large profits by having workers in these countries extract the precious metals such as gold, silver, nickel and copper from electronic goods.

Unfortunately, there are significant health risks when it comes to removing these metals and the other chemicals, without proper practice.

As well as that, the rest of the machines are ending up in landfill due to this process – something that could be easily avoided.

Essentially, e-waste is something that we need to learn to manage better.

If it’s recycled properly, 95% of the components of a computer can be recycled and reused again – a huge figure.

Even in Australia however, the amount of e-waste being recycled correctly is only a fraction of what it should be.

This is where it’s imperative that when you’re disposing of your e-waste, you contract an office rubbish removal company such as Sydney City Rubbish.

We’ll dispose of and recycle e-waste where possible, responsibly and safely.

As a country, we have a long way to go before we’re well and truly managing e-waste correctly, so it’s important that your business takes the first step as soon as possible.

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