May 26, 2010
Modern electronic devices might look nice and clean on the outside however, they contain lots of materials in manufacturer which are potentially very dangerous and hazardous to human health. Typical ones are PVC plastic used as insulator for internal cabling, and brominated flame retardants known to be carcinogenic.
Most of these substances can be disposed of safely, but it needs considerable investment and therefore most recycling companies tend to turn a blind eye to where these items end up. They are simply shipped as e-Waste abroad to developing countries. There instead of being properly processed, appliances are either dumped in unmanaged landfill, or child labour is used to extract the precious metals in extremely hazardous conditions.
This also leads to toxins being released into the soil and eventually into the water table. This affects both human and animal life.
If you are concerned about our environment and about where you electrical goods might end up, please make sure you use reputable recyclers. The good ones amongst us will be happy to tell you how we deal with these items. As a company, we would ideally like to refurbish and re-use these items as this is obviously the best result for the environment. Some items do not have a re-use value in the UK but work and can still be used in developing nations. This equates to about 20% of what we receive. We only ship to suppliers of reputation who we have been dealing with for years. Finally if the item is only scrap, we break the this down into their individual materials and each is sent to specialist recyclers where they are melted down and re-used to build new devices.