Electronic waste has been a problem for a very long time, however, it wasn’t until the mid-70s alongside the computer revolution that the proper disposal of e-waste became more seriously regulated. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 was passed by Congress to amend the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965 to enforce basic requirements for states to follow for the dumping of electronic waste in the United States. That act was based on the recognition of the potentially hazardous nature of e-waste to both the environment as well as to human health. Since then, the e-waste recycling industry has developed to support the requirements for electronic waste disposal, in particular, serving companies with high outputs of e-waste.
RAKI Electronics Recycling is an EPA-compliant, R2-certified equipment disposal and secure data destruction company that has been serving corporate clients nationwide since 1991. Our company operates to the highest standards of e-waste disposal and is fully committed to responsible recycling and the protection of your data. More than that, core to the value of utilizing our services is to mitigate the serious environmental and health risks that result from inappropriately disposed of e-waste.
What Are The Environmental & Health Impacts of E-Waste?
E-waste negatively impacts the soil, the water, as well as the air.
- Soil — As e-waste breaks down, it releases toxic heavy metals into the ground, including arsenic, cadmium, and lead. These toxins can damage plant life and can ultimately end up back into the human food supply, leading to birth defects and other health problems — some that can last a lifetime or potentially be fatal.
- Water — Toxins from e-waste can and often do enter groundwater as well as the soil. When this happens, animals and plants reliant on the source water can become sick. Toxic water is seriously unbalancing for any ecosystem that is impacted. Toxins such as mercury, barium, lead, and lithium all are carcinogenic, so humans who imbibe the water succumb to an increased risk of developing cancer.
- Air — When you dispose of e-waste in a landfill, what typically happens is that it gets burned up in an incinerator. When this occurs, hydrocarbons are released into the atmosphere, contributing to air pollution and greenhouse gas effects.
Mitigating The E-Waste Crisis
As you can see, e-waste is no minor problem; it contributes significantly to the global pollution epidemic and the poisoning of natural ecosystems. Even more, the long-term effects of e-waste are still unknown — but reasonable predictions indicate continuous degradation of soil, water, and air quality, as well as serious health impacts on animals, plants, and humans.
It’s not a simple problem to address. What you can do, however, at the local and commercial level, is to be sure to recycle your electronics responsibly. How do you do that? RAKI Electronics Recycling makes it simple. Call us to schedule responsible e-waste disposal and we’ll take care of the rest.
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