Issues Paper on E-Waste

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  • Topic: Efficient energy use, Recycling, Grid computing
  • Pages : 8 (2531 words )
  • Download(s) : 64
  • Published : February 21, 2013
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E-WASTE and Environmental Impacts of Computer Hardware
Electronic Waste (E-waste) is a generic term embracing various forms of electric and electronic equipment that is loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, or broken. When e-waste is improperly discarded as trash, there are predictable negative impacts on environment and human health. E-Waste is a popular, informal name for discarded electronic products, such as computers, VCRs, and cameras, which have reached the end of their useful life. Discarded electronic products contain toxic metals and chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and PCBs which effects environment very badly causing many harmful diseases to mankind. Due to the continuous development in technology in today’s world many electronic products are produced every day and large amount of them is being discarded as they are reaching the end of their life which leads to the wastage of goods. The rapid progression of technology has undoubtedly produced many advantageous commodities for the modern era, many of which are essential to our daily lives. However, as the technology evolves, 2580tonnes of appliances and electronic waste (e-waste) of previous generation electronics fill landfills where the accumulation of toxic metals continues to grow [1]. Computers are one of the highly purchased electronic items and have a useful life of 3-5 years only, thus contributing huge amounts to annual e-waste volumes. Hence, as the E-waste is increasing day-by-day environment is also effected very badly causing in untimely change of weather conditions, birth to new bacteria causing human infections, and also in polluting the surrounding environments and depleting of Ozone layer making the globe a worst place to live in and hence there must be some preventive measures to be taken to reduce this e-waste by educating the people and reusing the discarded products for various other purposes.

The main issue in this field is presented in the paper “The Wild Wild Waste: e-Waste” that introduces about e-waste and the steps for reducing or to control the e-waste. The main problem that this paper has discussed is about the discarded computer hardware components, which are supported by a survey done over the period of 1998 and 2005 where in 1998 studies estimate about 20 million computers became obsolete in one year. In 2005 an estimate of around 130,000 computers were discarded in a single day across the globe. Further to this data in 2005, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that used or unwanted electronics amounted to 1.9 to 2.2 million tons. Of that, about 1.5 to 1.9 million tons were primarily discarded in landfills, and only 345,000 to 379,000 tons were recycled. Also, this paper describes about the steps to be taken to reduce the e-waste by using the recycled components, producing upgradeable equipment, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle electronic components The advantages is that it provided ways to reutilize the electronic components rather than discarding it while the biggest disadvantage is that it didn’t provide the results of this reutilization of electronic components and also its effects on environment.

Hence in order to protect the globe from e-waste some preventive measures need to be taken care so that it will be safe for living beings on the earth. Hence recycling and reusability of electronic components must be done to reduce e-waste and this is presented in the paper “Design Analysis: Understanding E-waste Recycling Generation Y” which aims to understand e-waste recycling behavior of Generation Y. It presents a study that explores generation’s e-waste recycling practices, their attitudes towards e-waste recycling, and the barriers to e-waste recycling [2]. The key issue pointed out in this paper is it tries to understand the e-waste recycling behavior of Generation Y from the questions like e-waste recycling behavior and its characteristics and the attitudes of the consumers...
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