Time to Change the Computer

Have you ever wondered what happens with the refrigerators, batteries or televisions that you stopped using and threw away as if it were an organic waste? The answer is that they cause severe environmental damage since the electrical and electronic waste when it reaches the sanitary landfill begins to release substances toxic to the soil such as gases, copper, mercury, aluminium, and iron and lead.

For some, it may still be hard to believe, but our computers and electronic devices, even the most obsolete, are small precious metal mines. For example, gold is used to improve conductivity. Most of our electronic devices contain gold in computer chips, mainly in the microprocessor, but also in RAM, motherboard and hard drives.

E-waste Cape Townone of the best recycling companies in the world, operating in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, pointed out 5 years ago that each mobile phone contains an average of 23 milligrams of gold. Michael Schneider, his spokesman, declared at the time: “Worldwide, about 1.3 billion mobile phones are produced annually and only 10% of them are recycled, which means that Humanity is throwing away between 20 and 22 tons of gold. a year. ”

The recycling of electronic resources is also known as urban mining. The idea is to obtain the wealth of this waste to reprocess it and reuse it in the technology industry or offer it to jewellers. Its recycling represents the sustainability of the process, without having to resort to primary extraction. We have to be aware that the natural resources of our planet are limited and that the most sustainable way to enjoy all the benefits offered by these devices is recycling.

Due to this, the national government enacted Law 1672 in 2013, which generates a comprehensive management policy for waste electrical and electronic equipment, in order to regulate the collection and reuse of these elements when they lose their useful life. However, people know little about the places to which they should take this waste and the treatment they are given once they leave their homes. We tell you what you can do when your equipment stops working and what are some of the processes of collection, reuse and use of this garbage?

Do not throw it in the trash! Computers abound with heavy metals and chemical elements that, when badly operated, generate noxious mercury and lead fumes. For this reason, several organizations work in collecting this equipment.) In these sites are deposited not only the computers in disuse but also accessories such as printers, speakers, keyboards, mice, and so on.

The repairable computers arrive by the E-waste Cape Town are to favour the vulnerable population and the rest are in the hands of environmental managers who are responsible for disassembling them to grind the plastic and melt the iron and copper, materials that are used in new production cycles of the economy. Since 2012 we have collected 8,200 tons of materials from computers.