[PDF Notes] What is an E-WASTE?

E-Waste is a popular, informal name for electronic products nearing the end of their ‘useful life’. Computers, televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers, and fax machines are common electronic products. Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled. Unfortunately, discarded electronic items have become part of the fastest growing segments of our nation’s waste stream.

Certain components of some electronic products contain materials that render them hazardous, depending on their condition and density. Toxic substances contained in electronic ware, such as lead and non-biodegradable plastics, endanger groundwater under landfills and pose health hazards for neighboring communities.

PCs are only part of the e-waste problem. Monitors are almost as numerous, and even richer in toxic materials. Then there are printers and other peripherals, plus steadily increasing numbers of cell phones and households, and not to mention older-generation electronic devices, like TVs, VCRs and boom boxes.

To address solid and e-waste issues in the most environmentally sound manner, the ‘three Rs’-Reduce, Reuse, Recycle shall be applied here. We can reduce the generation of e-waste through smart procurement and good maintenance and reuse functioning electronic equipment by donating or selling it to someone who can still use it. Only those components that cannot be reused should be recycled.

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