How can you safely deal with waste from your electronic devices? We have ever more technology in our homes that we also renew often. If this waste is not correctly dealt with, it can be dangerous for us and for the environment.
You've surely asked yourself more than once what to do with that phone you no longer use; we are here to tell you how you can recycle your mobile, your different chargers, the compact camera that no longer works, where to recycle your batteries... how you should deal with these and other potentially polluting products, and what would happen if you didn't:
A mobile phone
Did you know that up to 92% of your mobile can be used to manufacture new equipment? In Spain, less than 2% of all waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is recycled and a mobile phone contains hazardous toxic components that should go to a recycling plant and not landfill.
A recent report from the United National Environment Programme warned that around 40-50 million tonnes of this type of waste are produced every year globally and it forecast 'serious consequences' from the mountains of 'hazardous' and 'toxic' waste that is piling up without any control. How can we avoid this?
Easy: recycle. There are many companies that recycle and even purchase your old phone and, although not a large sum of money, it is something in addition to a guarantee that those materials are correctly repurposed and/or recycled.
The closest Recycling Point to your home is one of the options.You can throw away other devices such as cameras, tablets, computers, etc. here in complete safety.
The changes to chargers and batteries (laptops, mobiles, cameras) have reduced energy consumption and, in some way, their hazardous nature, although this remains high. Almost 30% of the weight of batteries is down to toxic materials such as Mercury, Cadmium, Nickel, Magnesium, Lithium and Zinc.
Some of these elements are really polluting, mainly if they come into contact with water and dilute into reservoirs or rivers. These pollutants concentrate uncontrolled in the nation's landfills, with very serious consequences that are barely documented. What can we do? Once again, recycling by professional companies or leaving them at Recycling Points.
We still have some devices at home that work with batteries. For this reason it is important to be aware that they contain heavy potentially hazardous metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead. Batteries are therefore considered to be special waste and are subject to specific collection and processing. Which pollutes the most? The one with the button.
Leave them at Recycling Points or other collection points, such as those in advertising posts in our cities or at supermarkets and shopping centres.
If these toxic components (especially heavy metals such as mercury or cadmium) are dumped without any control in nature, rainwater can carry them to underground water courses and from here, towards rivers and the sea, with a possible impact on living beings.
In the event of uncontrolled fires, metals evaporate and spread in the air; when it rains, they end up in the earth and in rivers, and this is why it is so important that they are correctly processed. Most heavy metals are bioaccumulative and pass from one organism to another via the food chain.
Make the most of the useful life of your electronic devices and when you decide to throw them away, do it safely!