E Waste Recycling Directives Save the Environment

July 29, 2010

In the UK, there are e-waste recycling directives that are designed to keep toxic substances out of the landfills. Under the WEEE Directives implemented in 2007, e-waste recycling and disposal must be properly handled by licensed waste carriers, because they are able to perform the safe recycling or disposal of IT assets, office equipment, old televisions and other devices or appliances that contain hazardous gases and substances.

What is e-waste?

  • Because of the advances in technology, many types of computer equipment become obsolete within three to five years.
  • This has created a new waste segment that is growing quite large, known as e waste.
  • For this reason, e waste recycling and proper disposal of IT assets is primarily responsible for the WEEE Directives.

E-waste recycling and the environment

While the environment has become a concern on a global scale, the more developed countries, including Europe, the United States and Asia have adopted these safer practices to protect the ground water tables and the soil. In addition, the dangers from the poisonous substances that are contained in computer equipment have made the environmental concerns more pronounced. When you consider there are large amounts of lead used in the soldering of circuit boards and many computers contain other harmful substances such as arsenic and cadmium, the need for e-waste recycling is very real and the necessity is growing every day as more businesses and consumers purchase these upgraded electronics, computers, cell phones and appliances.

Benefits of e-waste recycling

E waste recycling can be done to give computer equipment new life in some cases, because the computer equipment that is still working can be refurbished and placed in charities or the under-developed countries. In addition, non-working computer equipment might contain some “good” components that can be harvested and recycled to be used in other things. While there might be more than 100 poisonous substances in PCs, there can also be “good” metals, such as copper, aluminium, tin and even gold, which can be harvested and recycled.

Companies that are trained in e waste recycling can break down your computer equipment and provide an audit trail or certificate of destruction to protect you from liability. They can also perform data wiping, hard drive shredding or asset tracking, depending on the situation.

Whether you are a business owner or a consumer, chances are you will encounter a situation where you need to replace computer equipment, CRT televisions or office equipment such as faxes and photocopiers. E waste recycling is necessary for these items, under the WEEE Directives in the UK, and you need to make sure you are in compliance and that your data is properly protected or destroyed.

If it is possible to recycle your old items, you are helping the environment, saving space in landfills and might be helping those less fortunate to get updated technology. Environment Agency licensed waste carriers are trained in e waste recycling and can advise you on the proper course of action for your old computer and other hazardous equipment that needs to be disposed of properly.