Do you know what to do with your electronic waste?

There are many people who are unaware of the term e-waste and the great impact it has on our planet. You’re probably wondering what kind of garbage fits into that classification and then, what do we do with it?

Well, here we will tell you the basic knowledge you should know since we all have this type of waste in our homes.

E-waste refers to waste from technological devices and electrical appliances or known by its acronym WEEE ( Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment).

Technology advances and so does the growth of garbage! Approximately the world generates an alarming figure of around 40 million tons annually and it is growing; Spain is one of the main European countries responsible for this misfortune, since each inhabitant generates at least 20 kilos per year.

To give you an idea, electronic waste includes technological devices such as: cell phones, computers, televisions, electronic games, etc.; household appliances: small appliances such as blenders, toasters, etc., as well as large appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, stoves, etc.; fluorescent, LED and high-intensity lamps; and simple things such as calculators, scales, etc. Now with this “list” you will know how to classify your garbage.

In Spain, there are non-profit organizations called Sistema Colectivos de Responsabilidad Ampliada al Productor or SCRAP, made up of the manufacturers and importers of the equipment that produce this type of waste. They are responsible for complying with the established European regulations on the proper treatment of equipment. But this does not mean that all e-waste is recycled, as only 20% is reportedly recycled.

Where does the rest of the electronic waste go?

As there is no education or campaigns regarding the issue, it is sad that most people do not know what to do when they want to dispose of this garbage, so they commonly throw it out on the street waiting to be taken away, leave it in storage or “donate” it. Even less, we are told that the recycling process is included in the price we pay for a piece of equipment.

Additionally, as there are no government policies in most countries, these wastes end up in landfills or many are exported to developing countries, which in the end, will not receive any kind of adequate treatment for recycling, being very harmful to the environment.

On the other hand, there are establishments that give you a discount when you buy a new device if you turn in your old one, encouraging people to make a conscious purchase, such as the Apple store.

Here is the link to all the collection points for this type of garbage for when you want to dispose of it:

Companies should take more responsibility and help in this matter since there are times when it is more expensive to repair the equipment than to buy a new one, therefore a new one is purchased and the other one is left as garbage. It is also important for people to be aware and not get carried away by trends, for example, having the latest model of cell phone when the current one still works for you.

In this way and with small steps, we can take new habits and set an example to help our planet and avoid diseases caused by this type of pollution, since it releases toxic elements for our health.