Virtually everyone in the UK has access to some kind of computer, from the traditional desktop to modern laptops or even tablets. These devices are being bought in ever greater numbers, but they are also becoming obsolete as quickly as they are being bought. This means that there are a host of computers out there which need to be discarded.
Rather than throwing your old computer out of the window, there are a few reasons why you should recycle instead.
- Computers contain parts that threaten the environment, and risk the health of people living near the landfill. Some internal components are toxic unless properly handled.
- More than 40 million computers are discarded each year, and the sheer volume of these items fills up council tips.
- Computers cannot be incinerated, because toxins and cancer-causing molecules will be released into the air.
- Computers contain copper, lead and other metals which are very valuable. These can be removed from recycled computers, and reused.
- Computer monitors use leaded glass, and there is also significant amount of lead in the internal parts of a computer. Lead is a very big risk to the environment, and to mammals including humans.
- Other materials inside computers, such as plastic, tin and aluminium can be recycled, and are useful even when the computer is no longer needed.
- The Government’s Environment rules class computers as hazardous waste.
- Computers are not biodegradable, meaning they stay in the landfill for more than 100 years.
- Computer materials can be recovered easily, and may be used to create new electronics, reducing the price of new devices.
- Computers are not available to everyone, and so giving computers to the needy can help to increase literacy and benefit society.