What e-waste can do to us and how to handle e-waste?

You might have spare battery, phone or any other e-waste in any condition. If you are wondering how to handle  e-waste at home ( Discarded phone, batteries, circuit board, micro chip, laptop, desktop, keyboards, wires, cassette players etc.) then continue reading. If you have habit of disposing it into trash bag then please dare to persist to the end, this is for you.

What happens when I mix e-waste with rest of the waste?

According to the study carried out by Nepal’s Department of Environment, Kathmandu alone discarded 18,000 metric tons of e-waste in 2017. Electronic waste or e-waste comes with lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium. E-waste release toxic fumes into air when burnt. E-waste not just impact human health and environment it also comes at losing the resources. So it is not wise decision to mix e-waste and rest of the waste in same trash bag.

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Impacts of substance within the e-waste to health and environment

Lets look what is present inside electronic items around us and how they effect our health.

Substance Source Impacts
Lead Cell phone: circuit boards, batteries, stabilizer in PVC Products Damage to reproductive blood and nervous system
Mercury Cell phone’s battery, Crystal displays and circuit boards Damage brain and kidney
Arsenic Micro chips in several electronic devices Damage skin, liver, nervous and respiratory system
Cadmium Battery of cell phone Associated with deficits in cognition, learning behavior, and neuromotor skills in children.
Chlorine Component of plastic used in cell phones(30% of cellphone) Tissue damage and destruction in tissue damage

Source e-cycle.com

What to do with my battery or phone ?

Firstly you can drop your phone, laptop battery, or any other single or many pieces of electronic waste to nearest scrap collection center. If you couldn’t find enough time then you may contact Doko Recyclers, Khaalisisi  Blue Waste 2 Value to pick up e-waste at home at your available times.

But remember it is not reasonable for agents and operator to come to your door steps for one battery or one phone. So it is recommended to have 10/15 kg of any recyclable waste for them to contact. At the same time you can hand over the e-waste. You will be paid separately for your e-waste and other recyclable materials such as paper, plastic bottles, glass or metals.

Assessment for the price of e-waste might depend on the material type. For instance laptop battery might be eligible for Rs 50. And again in this case price depends on the ampere of the battery.

International practices

In India e-waste legislation became effective since May 1, 2011. The concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) was introduced which made manufacturers liable for safe disposal of electronic goods.

In US 28 states have enacted laws that ban electronic waste from landfills and incinerators, and provide alternative programs through which consumers can safely recycle their unwanted electronic goods.

Its time to change our behavior towards unused electronic items and the only environment in Nepal.