Electronic waste is one of the fastest-growing contributors to Australia’s waste stream. As more and more outdated electronic equipment ends up in landfills, the negative impacts of e-waste on the environment and humans will increase.
Electronic waste can come in many forms including computers, photocopiers, printers, faxes, monitors, batteries and mobile phones.
According to public data on the internet, in 2008, there has been an estimated 37 million computers in Australia that were already in landfills or sent to landfills. With over 3 million computers being sold every year, 75% of them will end up in landfills. In2007/8 16.8 million computers reached their end of life. Of this, only 9% will be recycled. In the following years, this problem will be more serious. Besides, 17 million televisions were either in landfills or sent to landfills in 2008. The growing e-waste continues to be a troublesome problem for the environment.
Some of these items can be highly toxic and environmentally damaging. The following harmful substances can be found in everyday e-waste.
- Lead in cathode ray tubes and solder
- Mercury in switches and housing
- Arsenic in cathode-ray tubes
- Antimony trioxide as flame retardant
- Selenium in circuit boards
- Cadmium in semiconductors
- Cobalt in steel for magnets
When e-waste is sent to landfills, poisonous substances can leach from decomposing water into the environment. These substances can seep into groundwater, contaminate the soil and enter the food chain. Once people get in contact with this pollution source, humans may develop health problems. These include respiratory ailments, and reproductive, developmental, and nervous system problems.
So how recycling and reusing this e-waste is a pressing problem for Australia. E-waste like telephone wires, household cables, AC radiators are not difficult to recycle. With a copper cable granulator or AC radiator recycling machine, you can easily turn waste into profit.