Electrical and Electronic Equipment – Importance of Recycling

Electrical and electronic equipment waste is becoming a serious problem in most countries. Electronic and electrical equipment includes appliances that need electricity like kettles, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, mobile phones, television sets, computers, laptops, video games and others.These appliances contain dangerous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals that are known to cause pollution and health problems in individuals. There are several benefits of recycling that consumers need to be made aware about. Dismantling these electrical and electronic appliances allows the different parts to be reused and controls the buildup of waste. In addition, metals procured during recycling can be utilized in other industries and further reduce the amount of waste.Both manufacturers and consumers are responsible for recycling electrical and electronic equipments. There are efforts to raise the awareness about the benefits of recycling electronic and electrical equipment by different organizations. Consumers can help by reducing the waste of these appliances and restricting their purchase to only those items they need urgently. They should consider borrowing or renting electrical and electronic equipment they are going to use occasionally.In addition, consumers should consider sharing or giving away the appliances they no longer need to someone needy, instead of disposing it. They are also advised to buy the most energy efficient appliances and ask about the option of recycling at the time of purchase.The responsibility lies with the retailers to inform the consumers about the prospect of recycling the electronic and electrical equipment they carry. Many retailers also offer exchange programs where the consumers can exchange their old appliances for the new ones free of charge or drop off their old appliances at designated recycling zones.Electrical and electronic equipment recycling involves dismantling the equipment first. This means separating the different parts of it including the metal part, wires, chips, plastic and others. In developed countries, adequate safety measures are in place so that this process does not pose any hazards to the workers. However, in developing countries this step involves great risk for the workers.There is also an automated system that can be used to separate the different parts of the electrical and electronic equipment and further be processed for recycling. The lead obtained can be sold to be reused in car batteries or refineries for purification. Similarly, other metals such as cadmium, copper and gold can also be sold to smelters for further processing.With the use of electrical and electronic equipment becoming more popular these days, it is time that the consumers also become aware of the waste produced by these appliances and consider viable recycling options.