There is a growing concern about the amount of trash that is piling up in our landfills. We produce a lot of trash and most all of it can be recycled so that it does not continue to pile up. Luckily, many of us have started to recycle plastics, glass, paper products, and more, but there is still room for improvement in our recycling. You may not realize how much space it takes up, but there is an overwhelming amount of electronic trash piling up. That is why we now need to add recycling electronics to the list of things that everyone should do.
Electronics in Our Landfill
For a lot of people, every time technology changes, they want to upgrade them. Think back to the old VCR players, to DVD players, and then Blue Ray disk players. Add in a new computer every few years, smartphone upgrades, and televisions that have changed from large boxes to flat screens and then smart televisions. What do you do with your outdated items? Chances are good, you may give them away to someone who needs them, but if they are unwanted; you most likely toss them out with your trash. From there, they go to the landfill where they take up a lot of space because they do not rot away and they aren’t always something that landfills want to touch. The metals that they are made with are heavy and old televisions may contain a lot of lead. Therefore, some landfills have a special area where you can put old electronics, but many people still insist on throwing them away in dumpsters. For this reason; many companies are now creating new technology out of the recycled electronics by reusing metals and salvaging the components that they can in an effort to clean up the landfills.
How Electronics are Recycled
The first part in recycling old electronics is disassembly. This often requires the use of an electrician multi tool like these seen here; once they move beyond the plastics or wooden areas and start removing the components. The main goal is to get the lead out of the devices that have it. This process is done by removing everything surrounding it and then putting the CRT tube into a crusher where the glass is busted, sifted down to size and separated from the lead. Once this is achieved, the used lead and glass can be used for items such as x-ray shielding, bullets, or batteries. The rest of the electronics will be sold to other people that can use them. Circuit boards are ground up and then smelted so that we can capture lead, gold, tin, or palladium. Plastics become recycled plastic, steel is turned into scrap metal and reused, wood from old computer desks or entertainment stands may be used as biofuel, and all other parts that can be reused will be.
Recycling electronics is not something that everyone can do. You should allow your landfill the opportunity to separate it out so that they can send it to a recycling center. Immediately, the landfills in your area will start to shrink and you will start making an effort to save our landfills. Just remember; without you, nothing will change.