E-waste is quickly becoming a serious problem causing many deleterious effects on the environment.
Electronic waste refers to no longer needed or outdated electronic devices. Everything from batteries, desktop computers, cellphones, and the myriad of personal electronic devices in-between, are quickly becoming a serious disposal problem and threat to our community’s health. Landfills that receive thousands of the aforementioned devices haphazardly and irresponsibly thrown in household trash cans start to leach heavy metals into ground water. Common hazardous materials found in e-waste are lead, mercury, cadmium, and beryllium, to name just a few. These materials in large enough quantities can cause birth defects, brain damage, and cancer. Unfortunately, for poor third-world nations that need the income from importing these wastes on an industrial scale, and other irresponsible countries such as China, there has already been significant environmental damage threatening human populations in various regions of the world. Not just countries that don’t care or countries that feel they need the income from such waste suffer. When these heavy metals allowed leaching into the Oceans of the world, they enter the food chain. When the food chain is polluted, the entire human race is in needless jeopardy.
Whether we talk about e-waste on a global scale or right here in Nashville, the problems are the same. However, the solution to a preventable and very harmful pollution entering our water and our food is simply to dispose of the e-waste properly. The big stores such as Best Buy, Circuit City, Staples, and many others that sell these products will also dispose of your old cell phones and other small devices. Here in Tennessee if you have items that you know should not be thrown in the trash (Yes that includes batteries) you can go online to www.tn.gov/environment/swm/escrap/households/index.shtml
Let’s make e-waste a solution and not a problem by taking the little extra effort to recycle. Once it is let loose in the environment, there is no getting it back.