Best Methods for E-waste Treatments

Where do broken or outdated electronic or electrical products go after we dump them? According to a UN study, nearly 50 million tons of e-waste was generated worldwide in 2012, which is about 7kg of electronic junk per person.

Data thieves or unauthorized people could easily uncover sensitive data and confidential information from discarded storage devices. Unless we securely delete all information in our smart phones, tablets, laptops, and personal computers, we risk becoming victims to identity thieves. Manual deletion of the contents of your old drives will not stop hackers from recovering your files.

Securely wipe all the contents of your hard drive using free and trustworthy deletion softwares available online. If you are a businessman and your employees’ desktop computers need to be replaced, you might have to hire a reputable company to help you effectively and safely erase all the files in all your old drives before disposal.

Improper handling of e-waste would not only lead to potential security and privacy breach, toxic substances that seeped from mishandled e-waste may also pose serious threats to the environment and to the health of those who reside and make a living out of e-scrap.

The growing crisis in e-waste management and treatment requires the coordination and action of all sectors of the society. Through the collaboration of consumers, producers, distributors, and the government, finding solutions to mounting e-waste problem is feasible. UN has proposed five steps to get rid of e-waste responsibly and adequately:

 

1.       Policy (Government and Non-Government Organizations) - Analyse and evaluate current governmental policies related to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and formulate regulations and legislations that best address e-waste issues.

2.       Redesign (Manufacturers) - Producers and manufacturers should continually research ways of reducing the negative consequences of electrical and electronic gadgets and appliances throughout their entire life cycle.

3.       Reuse (Consumers) - Consumers should follow standards and principles in re-using electronic and electrical equipment. If their old and unwanted devices are still working and in good condition, they may donate them to charity organizations or to the less fortunate.

4.       Recycle (Consumers and Distributors) - Manufacturers, producers, and distributors have set up recycling facilities for proper handling of e-waste. Consumers should coordinate with these vendors to ensure adequate treatment of their outdated or broken electronic or electrical items.

 

5.       Capacity Building (General Public) - Raising the general public’s awareness of e-waste problem and global threat, many people will carry out only the best practices in managing e-waste.

 

Now that we are aware of implications of improper e-waste disposal, let us be part of the solution. Follow UN’s best methods of eradicating e-waste problem through the Step (Solving the E-Waste Problem) initiative. Let’s start today.