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Activity: Question posted: 07 06 2008 01:07:12 +0000, 8 answers, 1049 views, last activity 07 06 2010 20:18:08 +0000
what is e-waste Management? Whats e waste?
"E-waste" is a popular, informal name for electronic products nearing the end of their "useful life. "E-wastes are considered dangerous, as certain components of some electronic products contain materials that are hazardous, depending on their condition and density. The hazardous content of these materials pose a threat to human health and environment. Discarded computers, televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers, fax machines, electric lamps, cell phones, audio equipment and batteries if improperly disposed can leach lead and other substances into soil and groundwater. Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled in an environmentally sound manner so that they are less harmful to the ecosystem.
Environment protection is a major concern today, and humans are now trying every means and method available to save the environment. But issues of e-waste are still untouched. It is an area, which is still unnoticed and needs to be taken care of..ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION and its preservation is today the major concern all over the world. The environment proves that all the human activities are inter-connected. An environmental damage within the boundaries of one state has trans-border ramifications. While the scientific and technological progress of man has invested him with immense power over nature, it has also resulted in the tactless use of the power, and endless encroachment of nature. The worst nightmare of this helpless situation is the growth of electronic waste in India (e-waste). There is no expressed legislation in India that is taking care of e-waste in India. The general environmental laws are indirectly touching the aspects of e-waste.
Let me make it clean and simple to understand.
E Waste are electronic products which are dead and not user full, may it be MBD, CDROM, DVD, or even a Battery. These wastes are threat to environment [Similar to Plastics, which cannot be recycled]. Managing this ewaste is called as E-Waste Management The other answers provide you much more information about the management.
First, Thanks for sharing information and helping to know the importance of Knowledge Management.
"E-waste" is a popular, informal name for electronic products nearing the end of their "useful life. "E-wastes are considered dangerous, as certain components of some electronic products contain materials that are hazardous, depending on their condition and density. The hazardous content of these materials pose a threat to human health and environment. Discarded computers, televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers, fax machines, electric lamps, cell phones, audio equipment and batteries if improperly disposed can leach lead and other substances into soil and groundwater.
Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled in an environmentally sound manner so that they are less harmful to the ecosystem. This paper highlights the hazards of e-wastes, the need for its appropriate management and options that can be implemented.
It is estimated that 75% of electronic items are stored due to uncertainty of how to manage it. These electronic junks lie unattended in houses, offices, warehouses etc. and normally mixed with household wastes, which are finally disposed off at landfills. This necessitates implementable management measures.
In industries management of e-waste should begin at the point of generation. This can be done by waste minimization techniques and by sustainable product design. Waste minimization in industries involves adopting:
- inventory management,
- production-process modification,
- volume reduction,
- recovery and reuse.
The harmful effects of Electronic devices are provided below:
Source of e-wastes
Solder in printed circuit boards, glass panels and gaskets in computer monitors
Chip resistors and semiconductors
Relays and switches, printed circuit boards
Corrosion protection of untreated and galvanized steel plates, decorator or hardner for steel housings
Hexavalent chromium (Cr) VI
Cabling and computer housing
Plastics including PVC
Burning produces dioxin. It causes
Plastic housing of electronic equipments and circuit boards.
Brominated flame retardants (BFR)
Front panel of CRTs
Short term exposure causes:
Responsibilities of the Citizen
Waste prevention is perhaps more preferred to any other waste management option including recycling. Donating electronics for reuse extends the lives of valuable products and keeps them out of the waste management system for a longer time. But care should be taken while donating such items i.e. the items should be in working condition.
Reuse, in addition to being an environmentally preferable alternative, also benefits society. By donating used electronics, schools, non-profit organizations, and lower-income families can afford to use equipment that they otherwise could not afford.
E-wastes should never be disposed with garbage and other household wastes. This should be segregated at the site and sold or donated to various organizations.
While buying electronic products opt for those that:
- are made with fewer toxic constituents
- use recycled content
- are energy efficient
- are designed for easy upgrading or disassembly
- utilize minimal packaging
- offer leasing or take back options
- have been certified by regulatory authorities. Customers should
opt for upgrading their computers or other electronic items to the
latest versions rather than buying new equipments.
Electronic waste, popularly known as ‘e-waste’ can be defined as electronic equipments / products connects with power plug, batteries which have become obsolete due to:
advancement in technology
changes in fashion, style and status
nearing the end of their useful life.
Classification of e-waste :
E-waste encompasses ever growing range of obsolete electronic devices such as computers, servers, main frames, monitors, TVs & display devices, telecommunication devices such as cellular phones & pagers, calculators, audio and video devices, printers, scanners, copiers and fax machines besides refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, and microwave ovens, e-waste also covers recording devices such as DVDs, CDs, floppies, tapes, printing cartridges, military electronic waste, automobile catalytic converters, electronic components such as chips, processors, mother boards, printed circuit boards, industrial electronics such as sensors, alarms, sirens, security devices, automobile electronic devices.
Indian Scenario :
There is an estimate that the total obsolete computers originating from government offices, business houses, industries and household is of the order of 2 million nos. Manufactures and assemblers in a single calendar year, estimated to produce around 1200 tons of electronic scrap. It should be noted that obsolence rate of personal computers (PC) is one in every two years. The consumers finds it convenient to buy a new computer rather than upgrade the old one due to the changing configuration, technology and the attractive offers of the manufacturers. Due to the lack of governmental legislations on e-waste, standards for disposal, proper mechanism for handling these toxic hi-tech products, mostly end up in landfills or partly recycled in a unhygienic conditions and partly thrown into waste streams. Computer waste is generated from the individual households; the government, public and private sectors; computer retailers; manufacturers; foreign embassies; secondary markets of old PCs. Of these, the biggest source of PC scrap are foreign countries that export huge computer waste in the form of reusable components.
Electronic waste or e-waste is one of the rapidly growing environmental problems of the world. In India, the electronic waste management assumes greater significance not only due to the generation of our own waste but also dumping ofe-waste particularly computer waste from the developed countries.
With extensively using computers and electronic equipments and people dumping old electronic goods for new ones, the amount ofE-Waste generated has been steadily increasing. At present Bangalore alone generates about 8000 tonnes of computer waste annually and in the absence of proper disposal, they find their way to scrap dealers.
E-Parisaraa, an eco-friendly recycling unit on the outskirts of Bangalore which is located in Dobaspet industrial area, about 45 Km north of Bangalore, makes full use ofE-Waste. The plant which is India’s first scientific e-waste recycling unit will reduce pollution, landfill waste and recover valuable metals, plastics & glass from waste in an eco-friendly manner. E-Parisaraa has developed a circuit to extend the life of tube lights. The circuit helps to extend the life of fluorescent tubes by more than 2000 hours. If the circuits are used, tube lights can work on lower voltages. The initiative is to aim at reducing the accumulation of used and discarded electronic and electrical equipments.
India as a developing country needs simpler, low cost technology keeping in view of maximum resource recovery in an environmental friendly methodologies. E-Parisaraa, deals with practical aspect ofe-waste processing as mentioned below by hand. Phosphor affects the display resolution and luminance of the images that is seen in the monitor.
E-Parisaraa’s Director Mr. P. Parthasarathy, an IIT Madras graduate, and a former consultant for a similar e-waste recycling unit in Singapore, has developed an eco-friendly methodology for reusing, recycling and recovery of metals, glass & plastics with non-incineration methods . The hazardous materials are segregated separately and send for secure land fill for ex.: phosphor coating, LED’s, mercury etc.
We have the technology to recycle most of the e-waste and only less than one per cent of this will be regarded as waste, which can go into secure landfill planned in the vicinity by the HAWA project.
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