Computer recycling refers to the practice of salvaging useable components from obsolete electronic devices or safely disposing off electronic devices. It is a practice that each one of us must inculcate because inappropriate handling of discarded computers and other electronic devices can cause environmental hazards.
Studies estimate that over 40 million electronic pieces become obsolete annually. These pieces have constituents such as lead, cadmium, barium, and mercury, which are hazardous to the environment. In a landfill, these materials seep into the ground and then into our food and water supplies. This can cause serious health concerns over a long period.
Obsolete Computers: Environmental Threats
Obsolete computers that are simply dumped in the garbage drums are the biggest threat to the environment. The computer monitors have cathode ray tubes containing four to five pounds of lead that contaminates the environment acutely. Besides lead, the computers have many other hazardous elements such as mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium. When inhaled over a long period, these elements cause high blood pressure, liver and nerve disease, blood with poor iron, and even brain damage to the exposed group. This causes great concern, considering several million computers become obsolete annually.
Therefore, we must handle the obsolete electronic devices carefully. Moreover, different Environmental Laws have banned the illegal landfills by the disposals of computers and other electronic equipment. These laws necessitate sending the un-functional computers to a reputable recycler for harmless recycling. The laws also specify the need for regular recycling to avoid such computers from piling up.
There are several methods to deal with old computers. Some of them are as follows:
· Give It For Reuse: If your computer is in a decent condition, you can sell it to a company or an individual so that it can be used further, or simply donate it to someone needy.
· Trade It In: There are many computer dealers (e.g. HP) who offer trade-in promotions on computers and peripherals.
· Auction It: You can sell the computer on eBay or any other auction site. You can also organize a quick garage sale and see if any of your friends or neighbors wants the computer.
· Set up a Server: You can continue using the old computer as a server to store and share data.
· Salvage Some Parts: You can see which parts of your computers are in good working condition. You can salvage those parts and use them in your new computer.
Go for computer recycling and safe the planet earth!