Sunday, January 16, 2011

E - Waste

E-waste stands for electronic waste , With more and more sophisticated gadgets getting in the market everyday taking in as much functions as possible to made it handy for almost anywhere you go , Ever wondered what happens to those old electronic stuff you had which you throw away to make place for new ones.
Dumped Old computers
 About approx 4000 computers (on an average) are thrown away in India daily , Electronic waste or E-waste is the most rapidly growing waste problem in the world. Releasing about a thousand toxic waste in the environment – such  as the lead, beryllium, mercury, cadmium, and  zinc for example CRT monitor contains more than 6% lead which if inhaled can cause harm to kidney, nervous system and impair mental condition especially of unborn baby. that's why the most complex treatment is that of CRT(Cathode ray tube) only the front glass can be reused and the rest is send away for recycling where dismantling is done in a vacuum chamber so that the toxic elements inside doesn't escape out.

CRT tubes and Lithum batteries
Develops explosive gases (hydrogen)
Zinc sulphide
Interior of a CRT screen
Toxic , Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant, permeator), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion,
of inhalation.
Chips and other
gold plated
Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
- Acid contact with eyes, skin may result in
permanent injury
- Inhalation of mists and fumes of acids,
chlorine and sulphur dioxide gases can cause
respiratory irritation to severe effects including
 circulatory failure, and
Mercury batteries
Very poisonous and a long-term perspective injurious to health
CRT screens , Batteries,PCB
Damages nervous system, kidneys, cause learning disabilities in childrens
Keyboard , mouse , printer etc
Causes Cancer
Rechargable batteries,printer inks
Very poisonous

 A large number of electronic waste are recycled and reused in various industry.Electronic waste can be very valuable sometimes if it is processed using techniques which won't harm the environment. There are many e-waste processing plant , e-waste processing plant are firms who take up the e-waste recycling into a business (or trade) they have logistics in place to pick it all up from a coverage area. most of the electronic waste like broken or old CD drive , hard disk , television, graphics card , motherboard lands up in here , If of course you sell your old e-stuff and now an e-waste into the right scrap dealers in the computer hardware market . if you throw off your electronic stuff  to your general waste collector or scrap dealer who buys stuff by weight , you are just slowly killing your mother nature ,  A tremendous amount of imported E-waste material and
process residues are not recycled but simply dumped in open fields, along riverbanks, ponds, wetlands, in rivers.

The awareness about e-waste have gone far and wide , especially among the environmental activist . As E-waste are formed from general household electronic items (consumer electronics) ,with such a large population and there dependency on electronic stuff like MP3 players, television , computers , e-waste can grow by several hundred times and e-waste are far more dangerous than other domestic waste because of the presence of toxic elements in it.
          And the worst of them all is small scrap dealers especially in south asian country like India , These dealers try to reuse the expensive metals in the PCB(Printed Circuit Board ) of every electronic items by extracting the metal from pcb . Valuable metals present in PCBs are Palladium,gold , silver , tin, copper and aluminium.  Although illegal ,These kinds of activity is often practised in rural areas using methods although cheap but extremely dangerous and hazardous methods and many a times employing child labor which is biggest of all the crime . After removing the ICs from the pcb , It is done usually by these procedure :
An E-waste scrap dealer
  •  Utilizing nitric acid on the circuit boards to remove gold and platinum.
  • The PCBs are burnt in the open by roadside recyclers using blowtorches  to retrieve the rest of the solder and copper.  After burning, the ashes are floated in water to remove lighter ash.
Both the methods being dangerous to both lives and environment , There are no facility in India to extract valuable metals from PCBs , they are usually send abroad for disposal . Hazardous substance and other non - reusable materials are landfilled on government approved sites . efforts have been made, by NGOs and the Government, to make the process of recycling of e-waste safer and more eco-friendly .Other e-waste scrap yards have been found in Meerut, Ferozabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai.

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