There is extremely high turnover in the computer world. It is rare for someone to hold on to the same computer for more than a few years. Many people get the latest model of laptop as soon as it comes out each year. While the reason for this is obvious, given that each new model boasts substantially-improved performance over the last one, there are also some pretty obvious downsides. The main problem is waste. Every year, a whole generation of laptops and desktops is thrown away to become new fixtures on landfills. This has serious repercussions for the environment.
The problem with computer waste is that just like many other machines, the parts will not decompose naturally. Laptops are not biodegradable. As a result, not only is this clearly only a short-term solution, but there may also be long-term repercussions. We are going to have to deal with the waste eventually, and while we wait, some of it is already doing harm. Computers are mostly made from plastic and metal, but there are also some more harmful materials present in miscellaneous components such as motherboard batteries. Various chemicals are free to seep into the ground and the water and cause all manner of trouble for both wildlife and ourselves.
The solution to all of this is responsible recycling. It is not hard to see that if we reuse the materials that would otherwise go to waste, we solve many of these problems all at once. It is important to take a stand against wastefulness and make an active effort to recycle everything we can. Computers are a good place to start. Rather than simply throw out your existing PC or laptop, consider taking it to a responsible recycling company. They can undoubtedly find a better use for it than merely dumping it on a landfill.
Directives like WEEE recycling can help to make the world a better place. Although we are unlikely to see vast changes in the short term, our long-term prospects are much better than if we were simply to continue dumping materials as we have done in the past. Proper recycling practices can help to reuse our machines and turn their plastic, metal and glass into new items. This more sustainable circle bodes far better for our future. Look for recycling companies that adhere to WEEE protocols so that you can be sure that your computer will be in good hands.
Guest article brought to you by OCM Business Systems, the PC recycling experts.
Computers are a commodity in today's world. As they become cheaper and cheaper even while increasing in power over previous years' models, more people buy them and dispose of them each year. This wastefulness cannot be good for the environment, and it is made all the worse by the hazardous nature of some of the materials used in computer manufacture. While some of the materials in your computer are easily recyclable, such as the glass, aluminium and steel parts, others pose greater difficulties. Batteries and other miscellaneous electronic components can often contain chemicals that are very unpleasant for the environment, and indiscriminately dumping them on a landfill may not only be a poor idea, but may actually be against the law. In order to keep companies in check, there is the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment or WEEE directive.
What started as merely a good idea has since become European law. The most essential goal of the directive is to place greater responsibility on companies dealing in waste disposal so that our world is not polluted unnecessarily. Because of the law, a large percentage of computer components is now recycled relatively harmlessly compared to simply dumping pieces on a landfill. As a result, it is likely that at least some of the materials used in your current computer or smartphone had a previous life as an earlier model. Alternatively, the materials might have come from a car or some other machine. This circular approach to disposal makes our world a better place.
When disposing of an old computer, it is important to make sure that the disposal and recycling company is legitimate and takes all the necessary precautions to make the process as kind to the environment as possible. Remember that it is not only the environment at large that benefits from this. Dangerous components are also taken care of in a safe way rather than allowed to risk hurting someone in the process of being dumped. Some fluids present hazards to the environment, such as polychlorinated biphenyl, which can deal damage to the land and sea long term. Chlorofluorocarbons are notorious for depleting the ozone layer. Other miscellaneous components like back-lights in laptop displays also present problems and must be disposed of with care. Batteries and cathode ray tube monitors are some of the worst offenders.
All good disposal and recycling companies make use of the WEEE recycling directives. In most cases, they are required to by law, although it is always worth checking to see whether a particular company can boast full compliance. When disposing of your used computer parts, it is only sensible to seek the environmentally-friendly solution. Look for companies that have recent site inspections and can provide full certification for their procedures. The best recycling companies work with partners who can provide evidence for the reuse of materials in new products. When you have a paper trail that follows materials from one consumer product right around in a circle to another product, you know that the recycling process is effective and genuinely helpful.
Categories: Recycling Tags: Recycling, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, Waste Management