The advent of modern technology has brought about many comforts and convenience through electronic gadgets and equipment. It has also brought another type of waste and another cause for environmental concern – electronic waste or e-waste. E-waste is categorized as computers, entertainment electronics, mobile phones and other electronic items that have reached the end of their useful life.
With this alarming development, Vancouver emerged as one of the key cities that implemented an e-waste recycling program. Championing electronics recycling is no easy task, but with proper information dissemination and guidance, the results of this project can be amazing. We’ll discuss the basic how to’s of e-waste recycling in Vancouver in the hopes of having the practice emulated or adapted in other countries.
Drop Off E-Waste At Designated Drop-off Centers Or Depots
Over the years, Canada has given rise to many resources on how to dispose of electronic waste. In Vancouver, one of the chief methods is dropping off electronic wastes like desktop computers, portable computers, computer peripherals, home entertainment appliances, and end-of-life other electronic devices drop-off center.
The city also holds certain zero-waste events in some areas, so you can check out which event is nearest to your location for a more convenient drop-off. If your location follows a route that passes by the city landfill, you can also drop off your e-waste there. There are also many Return-it electronics locations around the city where you can check out for your future e-waste drop-offs.
Make A Basic Sorting Of Your E-waste
For faster and easier processing by recycling facilities, homeowners, as well as business administrators, are encouraged to make basic sorting steps before dropping off their electronic wastes. One of the methods is by chronological sorting. Separate the old electronic wastes from the newer ones.
Old computer models, especially those with cathode-ray tube (CRT) screens should be kept in a separate container along with old peripherals and central processing unit (CPU). The main reason for the sorting and segregation is due to the different materials and components used in the electronic systems over time. Some components of old electronics are no longer found in new ones, and vice versa.
Another segregation method is through determining hazardous and non-hazardous components. Aside from being obsolete, CRT monitors also pose environmental and health risks if not disposed of properly. Thus, they should not be lumped in with hard and sharp objects such as power tools to avoid damage and contamination. Batteries, printer ink and toner cartridges should also be lined in the same category as CRT monitors due to the hazardous chemicals in these components.
While some batteries, printer cartridges, and toners can be easily detached, there are those that need specialized tools to do so. Thus to be on the safe side, keep the whole electronic device intact and inform the recycle service professionals that there are batteries, ink cartridge, toner or CRT included in the e-waste you are dropping off. If you are availing of the electronic waste pickup service, be sure to inform the collectors of these components.
Wipe Or Erase Important Data
Most modern electronic wastes are those that have the capacity to store important personal data such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. To protect the privacy of your data, you must learn to erase important and sensitive data from your electronic device. One of the common misconceptions is that memories and storage devices are automatically erased once your electronic gadget reaches the end of its useful life. This isn’t necessarily the case. Hard drives, memory cards, and SIM cards still retain information even if the main device is no longer working.
If your storage device is still working and you have data and information that you want to continue using, remove the storage device from the main electronic device so that you can use it. If you intend to transfer the data from the old storage device and include it in the disposal, do it as early as possible before the set schedule of the drop-off to the Return-it electronics locations.
To have peace of mind that your personal data cannot be read, accessed or used, take the extra step of physically destroying the storage device. You can either safely break it or unscrew the casing and pour acid on the hard disk platter. A better option would have to be having a reliable recycling company do the hard work for you. Make sure they have the NAID certification and audited data destruction procedures.
E-waste recycling can be a simple task on the part of those who own electronic devices. It just needs proper information for the concerned electronic device owners and the initiative and self-discipline of following e-waste recycling programs. Being able to effectively start and implement an e-waste recycling program in one community can pave the way for more communities to follow suit and eventually lessen our environmental impact.
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