Out of sight, out of mind – familiar saying? This is a typical stance we, as individuals are guilty of taking when it comes to our waste, particularly our e-waste. Unfortunately, as consumers when it comes to upgrading our smartphone or television, we don’t think twice about what waste is left behind. Try to imagine 4,500 Eiffel Towers in your mind. Frighteningly, this is the equivalent of the amount of e-waste generated in 2016.
How does E-waste affect us?
Each time we undertake a routine task such as brushing our teeth with an electric toothbrush, or using our electric razor we fail to realise when disposing these items irresponsibly can be detrimental to our environment’s health. Electrical and electronic equipment contains harmful chemicals that if we fail to safely dispose of, can have adverse effects on human health, and the health of our water and earth systems. As individuals in a society of “acceleration” where we always seem to be busy and pressed for time, we are constantly looking for the convenient or easiest solution around tiresome chores such as waste disposal. Landfills, the oldest form of waste management, have been viewed as the “solution” since the dawn of time. However, the rapid increase of e-waste ending up in our landfills is resulting in an environmental crisis.
It is almost too easy for us to take the “ignorance is bliss” approach. Once waste isn’t in our way and has been “gotten rid of” it’s not an issue anymore right? Unfortunately, the issue of waste is only getting worse. The World Health Organisation (WHO) paints a harrowing picture of the harmful effects of e-waste on the quality of human health. WHO emphasises the susceptibility of children’s developing immune and functional systems to hazardous chemicals which can result in doing irreversible damage and hindering further development through exposure. This can be a particularly high risk if schools are located near landfills. Even with regulatory directives in place, The UN-ITU states that a staggering 45 million tonnes of e-waste was disposed of in 2016 alone with only 20% of this waste being reused or recycled. This figure is predicted to increase by over 52 million metric tonnes by 2021.
As a result of extensive research surrounding e-waste and environmental pollution, global recycling initiatives have sparked inspiration to take action for our planet’s health. Fortunately, there are environmentally friendly and convenient options available for you to manage your organisation’s e-waste more easily.
Let Wisetek take the stress out of your e-waste.
With technological advances and innovation increasing at a rapid rate, it is certain that the increase of e-waste is inevitable. Disposing of outdated or broken electronics can be seen as a tedious task for many companies. If your business is struggling to keep on top of your e-waste management, Wisetek can help you. We have partnered with WEEE Ireland to ensure the security of all data on redundant IT equipment is sanitised when waste electronic equipment is disposed of and aligned with the requirements of the WEEE directive. Our combined aim is to keep redundant IT hardware out of landfill and our customer’s data securely destroyed. Here at Wisetek we are passionate about operating a zero landfill policy and run several initiatives a year within our business to encourage new and innovative ways we can make our company and yours more sustainable.
Check out our blog on World Earth Day and find out how you can be the change.