Electronics are everywhere. In addition to the ubiquitous mobile phone; TVs, home appliances and innumerable instruments monitor and manage our daily lives. As these reach end-of-life or become feature-redundant, most of them are thrown away. The ever lowering cost of technology is making it easier to dispose rather than re-use. As a result, e-waste is the largest form of waste being generated in the world today and is having a greater impact than that of organic domestic waste, and industrial waste.
The European Union (EU) alone generates a massive 8.7 million tons of e-waste every year. The global figures could be a hundred times more. Countries such as the US have even made it legal to export e-waste to countries in Asia and Africa, and as much as 20 percent of it is. Even in those countries that tout various recycling programs and initiatives, only a small portion of the e-waste is really covered by these initiatives, and most of it is stealthily dumped in various ways, and in various places.
Landfills: In the year 2000, the US EPA claimed that nearly 4.6 million tons of e-waste ended up in landfills in the US. One can imagine the scale in 2014. E-waste contains toxic chemicals and hazardous substances that either diffuse into the atmosphere or leach into the soil and water.
Incineration: Incinerating or burning the e-waste is a disastrous method followed in some countries of the world. During incineration, heavy metals like lead, cadmium and mercury enter the air through vapors, or soil through ashes; and these are known to cause brain-related disorders in humans and animals alike. Plastics that are burnt release highly toxic brominated dioxins and furans which can be fatal to humans.
Unhealthy Recycling: Developed countries have invested in scientific recycling plants, which are actually an expensive option. The easier option for less developed countries is to recycle e-waste in crude ways, in backyard recycling plants, which expose their workers to toxic fumes and material.
Export: Sadly, the easiest option for everyone is to export the e-waste to countries like Ghana, India, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam. In the US, nearly 50-80 percent of e-waste generated is exported in this fashion, while in other countries; much of it is exported illegally.
Thankfully, a new class of companies have emerged who recycle e-waste using scientific, certified methods, and are authorized by their Governments to do so.
DNF Corp is one such organization. We have the necessary alliances with electronics recycling firms that re-purpose materials and units ethically. And when it comes to the data in your e-waste such as asset tags, markings, and sensitive data in hard drives and electronic media, we will remove or destroy those using methods and standards prescribed by the National Association of Information Destruction (NIAD). This way, not only do we ensure all your e-waste is responsibly recycled, you are also protected from any form of data breach.