Electronic/Computer Recycling In Tampa Bay
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” waste hierarchy. Thus recycling aims at environmental sustainability by substituting raw material inputs into and redirecting waste outputs out of the economic system.
Recyclingcan help reduce the quantities of solid waste deposited in landfills, which have become increasingly expensive. Improved recycling also reduces the pollution of air, water, and land resulting from waste disposal. Through advances in recycling technology, you have more options than ever. And it’s a good thing because we need to conserve as much of our resources as possible.
Apart from the economic impact, the environmental savings of recycling metals are enormous. Recycling steel and tin cans, for example, saves 74% of the energy used to produce them.
Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, and electronic.
Why is it essential to recycle our electronics (computer)?
Electronic waste is growing, and with that surge comes the need foreffective electronics recycling programs. People are urgently looking for information on TV recycling, computer recycling, and other programs that will help them responsibly get rid of unwanted equipment while minimizing any risk of information or identity theft.
When the e-waste is recycled, 10% to 15% of gold is retrieved from old computers, circuit boards, and peripherals. As per United Nations reports, the metals found in e-waste are 40% – 50% more precious and rich than the metals mined. A study conducted by the U.S Geological survey shows that the amount of gold extracted from 17 tons of gold ore is equal to gold recovered from 1 metric ton of computer e-waste.
These reports clearly display a message to the world that if e-waste is reused again and again there wouldn’t be any scarcity of metals and the need for mining. Therefore, the best way to subdue the catastrophic effects on the ecosystem and our health is to recycle electronic waste.
Do We Still Need to Mine?
“Pollution is a serious one. Water pollution, air pollution, and then solid hazardous waste pollution. And then beyond that, we also have the resources issue. Not just water resources but other natural resources, the mining resources being consumed, and the destruction of our ecosystem.” We already know that constant mining is never a good chance for our ecosystem; ecosystems are affected by physical perturbations of mining operations, as well as the chemical alternations in soil and water.
Minerals are the natural resources which play an important role in the economic development of a country. But the extraction and mining of these natural resources lead to some adverse effects on our environment as well.
Mining activities vary, but can include soil compaction and conversely, removal of the topsoil. These alternations disrupt nutrient dynamics by minimizing the availability of nitrogen and phosphorus, lower the PH through the acidification of the soil and can introduce toxic metals and acids. Depending on the scale and nature of the mining operation, these effects can be localized to the location of the mining or, through local hydrology, can extend to nearby aquatic systems, such as stream, wetlands, and lakes.
- Regular operations adversely affect the environment in several ways. For instance, the operation of large mining equipment requires fuel and results in the emission of greenhouse gases. However, potential mine accidents and leaks pose an even greater threat to nearby land and water resources. Contaminated tailings or waste ore need to be stored behind a dam; failure of such a structure would result in the widespread release of toxins.
- Water pollution is the worst environmental consequence of gold mining. People have ruined rivers by using high-pressure hoses to spray down the banks and sifting through the sediment for gold. Runoff flows downstream, destroying plant and fish life. But modern mining is even more destructive of water resources: the gold industry in Nevada – where most gold in the United States is mined – consumes more water than all the people in the state. One of the mines consumes 100 million gallons per day as much as the city of Austin Texas that’s not all. Water systems around mines are contaminated by cyanide and other processing chemicals, and the acid mine drainage that runs off exposed rock.
- Landscape declination caused by ground movements on the surface of the earth as a result of collapsing overlaying sheets can cause damage to roads and buildings.Mining can cause physical destruction to the surrounding land by creating landscape blots such as open pits and piles of waste rock. Such disruption can contribute to the deterioration of the area’s flora and fauna. There’s also a huge possibility that many of the surface features that were present before mining activities can’t be replaced after the process has ended.
- Did you know that the effects of mining activities are mainly observed after the mining process has ceased? Good, you know! The destruction or drastic modification of the pre-mined landscape can have an enormous impact on the biodiversity of that area. Mining is a significant threat to biodiversity as it leads to a large massive habitat loss which affects microorganisms, vegetation, and animals.
- The effects of mining activities on the biodiversity of an area are determined by the level of concentration, extent, and nature of the contaminant.There’re species that are resistant to such disturbances while others are adversely affected to the extent of completely disappearing from the mining zone. A landscape affected by contaminants from mining sites can take a long time before they completely recover. Remediation process doesn’t offer any guarantees that the Biodiversity of the land will recover as it were before the mining activity.
Metals, when they mix with water, can also become acidic. This acid drainage can help a major environmental and health problem that persists for centuries notes Greenpeace and National Geographic. In Tar Creek, Oklahoma, zinc, and lead that found its way into the water, has made drinking water unsafe for local communities.
Copper and nickel dust mines can make soil acidic for many kilometers of land around mines, and affect plant growth and animal reports 2014 University of Minnesota report. Many of the chemicals used in mining are toxic and can escape into soil and water too. Mercury used in underground and hydraulic mining for gold causes water pollution affecting aquatic life.
Loss of forests and subsequent mining operations disturb the soil. Strip mining is particularly responsible for soil erosion as the topsoil is blasted to reach the shallow seams of coal according to Greenpeace. The displaced fertile topsoil is eroded or transported away leaving the area unfit for growing any trees. It’s this disturbance of soil which makes it difficult to grow trees in many mined areas in the U.S., so formerly forested areas are reclaimed by planting grass which alone survives in these conditions.
We all know that fossil fuels are used to power mining machinery. Although useful burning, burning fossil fuels release greenhouse gases into the air which contributes to climate change.
Almost all mines produce methane as a waste product. Methane is a relatively potent greenhouse gas; even a small amount of it can gradually worsen climate change. Coal mines are responsible for approximately six percent of the methane that is released due to human activities.
All these and many more are the adverse effects of mining on us and our immediate environ. Improper disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) can have serious consequences for the environment. Yet most businesses and individuals are unaware and send their old computers, monitors, printers and other electronic devices to be placed in the landfills or incinerated. All these negative effects because of our behavior towards our ecosystem? Why not leave mining and pollution and handle our environment with love by recycling? A study shows that The United States produces more electronic waste (e-waste) annually than any other country. In fact, Americans throw away 9.4 million tons of electronics each year. This means more chemicals and metals, such as lead ore seeping into our ground and harming our natural resources. This is a global issue that can be solved if each business does its’ parts.
E-waste recycling is a viable' green' solution to eliminate the harmful effects of electronic waste disposal that'll protect your company from costly EPA fines and penalties, and most importantly help the environment.
For example, lead is used to manufacture electronics and poses a huge threat. Furthermore, dumping this e-waste into landfills will result in releasing harmful chemicals into the air that can cause damage to health. Recycling this form of electronic waste is a good start to ensure stabilized environment and as well reduce the lead mining operations.
Not only are you promoting the stabilized environment, electronic recycling ensures good budget management as well. Think of how much you can save from the production and manufacturing process if you decide to re-use any of old electronics and computer products. Purchasing and maintaining electronics can be a burden on the wallet so opting to recycle will be an advantage for both the consumers and the manufacturers.
Around 90% of electronic equipment is recyclable, electronic recycling can play a significant role in creating employment; this is because new firms will look to employ more people to recover recyclable materials.
If we are to recycle our electronics, it’ll create no room for further mining and decrease the effect of pollution poised by e-waste. For example, various metals can be recovered from computer circuit boards and other electronics, and the plastics and glass found in computer monitors can be recycled.
The process of recycling is a form of discipline. Our goal for electronics recyclingshould be to preserve the natural resources instead of using them up, with that we can achieve an almost if not perfect environment and even in years coming we’ll still be reaping the fruit of our conservations.