“Waste isn’t waste until we waste it.”
Did you know? Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 homes in a year. Now imagine, if every residential household started adopting and practicing appropriate methods of Apartment E-Waste management. Not only would be saving up on our electricity bills, but we would be saving our environment from the toxic effects of improper E-Waste disposal.
Rohan Massey, Senior Project Manager from Saahas Zero Waste and Preethi Sivan, Environment Scientist from E-Waste Social give us a detailed guide on the different methods and practices of E-Waste Management in Apartments.
Table of Contents
Identifying Non-Recyclable and Recyclable E-waste in Apartment E-Waste management
According to Preethi, all electronic waste contains some form of recyclable material. That includes materials like plastic, glass, and metals etc. They may be considered “junk” or “obsolete” to consumers but still serve an economic purpose.
“Items that cannot be recycled include, but are not limited to the following: Hazardous materials or liquids, ink and toner cartridges, alkaline batteries etc.”, she adds.
It takes 530 lbs. of fossil fuel, 48 lbs. of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor. Hence, by recycling those computers and monitors, we avoid the use of virgin materials, for manufacturing new one.
The foundation of electronics recycling is efficient separation of materials for Apartment E-Waste management. Shredding the e-waste facilitates the sorting and separation of plastics from metals and internal circuitry, and waste items are shredded into pieces as small as 100mm to prepare for further sorting.
After sorting the various components it can be used as raw material for manufacturing new electronics.
From Non-recyclable materials, the recyclers will receive the useful material and further they will reprocess them into a new material. For example, up to 97 percent of the materials that make up a printer cartridge can be reused if taken care of. For every 1 million cellphones that are recycled 35,274 lbs. of copper, 772 lbs. of silver, 75 lbs. of gold, and 33 lbs. of palladium can be recovered.
Tips for E-Waste Management in Apartments
As a responsible consumer, it’s best to stick to the 3Rs mantra – Reuse, Recycle and Refurbish for Apartment E-Waste management.
Residents can follow the 3 steps in a sequential manner:
Prevention and Minimisation – Avoid or refuse to buy an electronic item in the first place. Consumer behaviour has changed drastically and everyone wants a new product every year even when the old one is completely operational.
Repair and Reuse: Any electronic items can always be repaired or used by someone else. The upgrade to a new electronic item should ideally happen only when absolutely necessary.
Call Toll Free Number: Toll free numbers provided by recyclers and PROs connect you to nearest collection point/centre for easy disposal of your E-waste. Any citizen can call the Toll Free Number (1800 258 6676) of the E-waste provider’s collection centre which is available online to drop their E-waste in the collection centre.
Additionally, communities can have a separate storage room for E-Waste where it is collected and stored. An E-Waste service provider like Saahas Waste Management Private Limited can conduct awareness sessions and arrange collection drives where service providers can channel the collected material to the authorized recycler.
Best Practices to prevent Toxic Effects of E-Waste
To avoid toxic effects of e-waste, it is crucial to properly e-cycle so that items should be recycled, refurbished, resold, or reused as part of Apartment E-Waste management.
- Whenever you plan to get a new electronics just check whether its recyclable and its lifespan.
- Don’t throw used electronics in a trash can or landfill. Instead, look for a nearby authorized recycler or refurbisher.
- On ADDA, platforms like E-Waste Social collect E-Waste generated in households and recycle or refurbish them by putting those things through their online auction platform by an authorized recycler/refurbisher.
Read our blog on Apartment Waste Management for more best practices!
Contact us and we might be able to help you with the Waste Management in your Apartment!