Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled in an environmentally sound manner so that they are less harmful to the ecosystem.
These days computer has become most common and widely used gadget in all kinds of activities ranging from schools, residences, offices to manufacturing industries. E-toxic components in computers could be summarized as circuit boards containing heavy metals like lead & cadmium; batteries containing cadmium; cathode ray tubes with lead oxide & barium; brominated flame retardants used on printed circuit boards, cables and plastic casing; poly vinyl chloride (PVC) coated copper cables and plastic computer casings that release highly toxic dioxins & furans when burnt to recover valuable metals; mercury switches; mercury in flat screens; poly chlorinated biphenyl's (PCB's) present in older capacitors; transformers; etc. Basel Action Network (BAN) estimates that the 500 million computers in the world contain 2.87 billion kgs of plastics, 716.7 million kgs of lead and 286,700 kgs of mercury. The average 14-inch monitor uses a tube that contains an estimated 2.5 to 4 kgs of lead. The lead can seep into the ground water from landfills thereby contaminating it. If the tube is crushed and burned, it emits toxic fumes into the air.
With the increase in use of computers and other electronic products, the problem of how to dispose the used computers and other electronic good...
urning, disposal of e-waste without regard to proper environmental procedures all play a role in making the dumping of e-waste and its disposal a priority issue.
It is estimated that 75% of electronic items are stored due to uncertainty of how to manage it. These electronic junks lie unattended in houses, offices, warehouses etc. and normally mixed with household wastes, which are finally disposed off at landfills. This necessitates implementable management measures.
In industries management of e-waste should begin at the point of generation. This can be done by waste minimization techniques and by sustainable product design. Waste minimization in industries involves adopting:
recovery and reuse.
The solutions suggested for solving the issue of e-waste range from reducing the toxic substances in the components prior to manufacture, recycling of the used electronic products, dumping of the e-waste in selected and notified areas, burning the e-waste products in designated incinerators that comply with environmental standards. Of course, the most common solution for e-waste management in the developed world is to ship the used computers and other electronic goods to developing countries like China and India where they are either used again or sold as scrap or in most cases, incinerated and the residual metal extracted from them. We will take a look at each of these solutions and the environmental policies in the developed world that contribute to as well as solve the problem of e-waste.
The most common solution to tackle the issue of e-waste is to recycle it. However, not all products can be recycled owing to different market conditions that exist for these products. Though recycling has been