Digital Waste Management

Digital Waste is actually the old electronic goods that people simply give away to garbage trucks that are then dumped into landfill or similar sites. Examples of electronic waste include, but not limited to:

  • TVs, computer monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, circuit boards, lamps, clocks, flashlight, calculators, phones, answering machines, digital/video cameras, radios, VCRs, DVD players, MP3 and CD players
  • Kitchen equipment (toasters, coffee makers, microwave ovens)
  • Laboratory equipment** (hot plates, microscopes, calorimeters)
  • Broken computer monitors, television tubes (CRTs)

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Effects of Digital Waste

If not treated properly, high levels of Lead & Mercury produced from digital wastes when reacts with moisture and oxygen, creates hazardous soil that may not be suitable for even building a home as the people breathing that air will suffer from reproduction and proper development of body parts, including the brain. It also spoils the immune system. It can cause lung cancer when you breathe air polluted by the fumes released when the motherboard elements react and create Beryllium. It is also responsible for skin diseases, including warts and certain forms of dangerous allergies Stress, anxiety, and other mental problems. The most dangerous form of burning e-waste is the open-air burning of plastics in order to recover copper and other metals. The toxic fall-out from open air burning affects both the local environment and broader global air currents.

Effective Management

Disposal Bins

Digital wastes should never be disposed of with garbage and other household wastes.  You can dispose of your electronic waste easily and conveniently by creating digital waste disposal bin. These bins can be implemented in colleges, colonies, community centers where people may dispose their digital wastes.

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Lawful Compulsion on Companies

India can take a cue from Norway which has e-waste take back system in place for more than a decade now. “EPR implementation in Norway mandates the domestic producers and importers to finance the digital waste collection and treatment systems. Enforcement of such laws can prove to be great way for digital waste disposal.

Production-process modification

Hazardous materials used in either a product formulation or a production process may be replaced with a less hazardous or non-hazardous material by reviewing current operational procedures and examination of the production process for ways to improve its efficiency. Instituting standard operation procedures can optimize the use of raw materials in the production process and reduce the potential for materials to be lost through leaks and spills

Refurbishing

The manufacturers can use recyclable material so that the e-waste is converted into something that can be used again without harming the planet and its inhabitants. If electronics are refurbished, they can be sold again at a lower price. Thus, both the society and environment will benefit.

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Lastly, while buying electronic products opt for those that:

    • are made with fewer toxic constituents
    • use recycled content
    • are energy efficient
    • are designed for easy upgrading or disassembly
    • utilize minimal packaging
    • offer leasing or take back options
    • have been certified by regulatory authorities. Customers should
      opt for upgrading their computers or other electronic items to the
      latest versions rather than buying new equipments.

 

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