E-Waste Needs Special Management?
You might think from the name that e-waste was exists in digital form. You might think this referred to spam emails or annoying pop-up ads. You’d be close only in the respect that ‘e’ means electronic. E-waste is a term used to describe out-dated electronic appliances that have need to be disposed of. Many of these devices contain hazardous materials that require special care.
E-waste includes computers, cell phones and tablets but also refrigerators, printers and stereo equipment. Household e-waste would include the following electrical appliances:
- Washer and dryers
- AC units
- Vacuum cleaners
- Light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
- Power tools
- Treadmills or other exercise equipment
Different states may have different requirements for disposing of e-waste. New Jersey State regulations may differ from New York, for example. Non hazardous materials used in the manufacture of appliances, such as wood, metal and plastic can be recycled. Hazardous e-waste such as circuit boards, batteries and mercury lamps and switches can be recycled as well. New Jersey State enacted a law to regulate electronic waste and deals with issues of recycling and waste management.
An authorized recycling facility can handle disposal properly. Monitors made with cathode-ray tubes, or CRTs, should be disposed of in a way that does not pose a threat to the environment. CRTs contain toxic substances such as lead and mercury and should be disassembled by hand so these components can be disposed of properly. PCs and servers will be stripped down and sorted for proper recycling. These components could include plastic, metal and circuit boards. Printers, fax machines and copiers are likewise stripped of toxic materials found in toner cartridges and LCD screens.
Following the proper guidelines for the disposal of outdated, end of service electronic devices and appliances helps maintain a healthier environment and reduces the risk of contamination of soil and water by toxic substances.
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