Select Page

It is inevitable that our planet will run out of natural resources. That is just what happens when there are finite supplies in the world and we live like they are infinite. When we feel that we have to buy every new cellphone Apple releases or get that new 4k TV or get a new computer because there is a faster i7 in it. Resources are ultimately used and then in turn are lost unless they are recycled or even better yet just repaired so that their life is extended! Sure, while recycling is a great way to deal with old electronics it is not the most effective in reducing the amount of resources we are wasting and I’ll tell you why.

Each year millions of tons consumer electronics are recycled and only a small percentage of them are actually recycled. As an example from Electronicstakeback.com about twenty thousand tons of mobile products where disposed of, only about twenty five hundred tons where actually recycled which amounts to only eleven percent of them actually being reused.  The examples continue in the same order with each consumer electronic that is recorded on this site. Over fifty percent in each category is actually trashed, meaning that over half of what we through away will ever make its way back into another consumer product.

Why is this why aren’t we taking a more aggressive stance on this and trying to reuse old electronics so that we aren’t pilling them up in dumps and landfills? A lot of it has to do with simple economics, that fact that throwing it away is more efficient and cost effective than breaking a component down, stripping it of useful product, refurbishing it, and then reusing it. Such a waste of our precious Earth’s resources when you consider that eventually we will have used all of it raw resources. Not only does it put strain on our Earth but also on its inhabitants who have to live with the waste that we accumulate by not repairing and reusing our consumer electronics. Countries all around the world have agreements with waste management companies that dispose of these products no longer in use to be disposed of in their countries sometimes even in their home towns.

roadside-e-waste-dump-in-lagos-nigeria-basel-action-network-sml

This is why repair is such a better option in the long run, recycling is an attempt to do something good but in the long run it does little to alleviate to strain on our need for ever new products and our need for somewhere to throw away our old ones. We must learn that every new shiny thing doesn’t need to be ours and that repairing something that you are familiar with can just be repaired and not placed in a landfill somewhere where it effects the lives of other inadvertently. Not to mention that the cost for the consumer is also considerably cheaper repairing as opposed to replacing an old device. In the end though it a conscious effort we must all agree upon to help and save our world’s resources and people.

Source:

http://www.electronicstakeback.com/wp-content/uploads/Facts_and_Figures_on_EWaste_and_Recycling.pdf