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What Are The Environmental Impacts Of E-Waste?

How Unrecycled And Improperly Disposed-Of Electronics Affect The Environment And Our Health

E-waste is the mass total of electronics that end up in landfills, or sent to developing countries to be hazardously burned and processed in order to extract bits of gold and other precious metals. These electronics that are thrown away rather than recycled or reused end up leaching toxic elements like chromium and mercury into the environment, negatively impacting humans, plants and animals.

The reality of electronics production is that it’s a rapidly updating field–it’s constantly out with the old, in with the new. And a lot of those old electronics simply get tossed out with the rest of the trash. But end-of-life electronics should not be tossed out–and here’s why.

Effects Of E-Waste On Human Health

A lot of e-waste is generated each year–about 20 to 50 million metric tons of it, to be precise. It either ends up in landfills in the US or it ends up getting shipped off to landfills in other countries–where it creates pollution that affects human health, invading our nervous, respiratory, and reproductive systems.

Not only can pollution from e-waste–the release of elements like barium, chromium, zinc, and nickel–lead to lung conditions, cancer, and damage to our kidneys, but it can also cause miscarriages and increase the risk of newborns developing mental and behavioral problems, in addition to other effects on newborn weight and development.

Effects Of E-Waste On The Environment

Elements like mercury, lead, cadmium, and lithium can also leach into the environment, leading to crop contamination and pollution to soil, air, and water. The toxins released from processing e-waste can travel thousands of miles–either by air or water–affecting plants and animals in a wide radius from where the e-waste was deposited. Nearby lakes, ponds, and other water bodies, for example, can have their pH affected and freshwater organisms, ecosystems, and animals will be harmed as a result. 

Benefits Of Recycling E-Waste

Recycling e-waste is good for the environment, your own health, and the health of those around you. You’ll be reducing the amount of toxic waste that gets deposited in landfills, and protect the health of generations to come. On top of that, it’s good for your pockets. You can fetch good money for metals–and feel good doing it, too.

Why You Should Buy Green Electronics

Green electronics are a specific category of electronics made to be biodegradable, recyclable, and sustainable. They are durable, and yet made without the nasty plastics that either stack up in landfills or get unethically burned off to reach the precious metals inside of electronics. Environmentally-friendly processes used to make electronics reduce pollution. By investing in certified green electronics, you can contribute to a healthier world.

Recycle Your E-Waste Responsibly With Arrow

Arrow Scrap and Recycling is based in New York with two locations to serve your recycling needs. Proud to meet and exceed the standards set by R2-RIOS, NAID, ISRI, local, state, and federal authorities, we’re committed to keeping landfills free of e-waste. You can recycle your electronics the responsible way with Arrow. Call or email us today.



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