E-Waste and Electrical Recycling

At Tele2 we sometimes stop and marvel at how much the world of telecommunications and small business communication has changed over the last few decades.

Twenty years ago a mobile telephone was as much of a novelty as a robot is today. Ten years ago, mobile phones had begun to be adopted by mums and dads and professionals as a more convenient way to keep in contact. And today, many of our kids get their first phones before they are even teenagers!

When you think about the sheer numbers of handsets that this revolution entails, the amount of zeros can make your head spin. With every new generation of phones becoming more useful and cheaper, and the product life cycle of these phones getting shorter and shorter as new releases are brought out, there are hundreds of millions of handsets out there now, with many in landfill or collecting dust in drawers.

 

The e-Waste Problem

The problem that old phones and electronics raise when they reach the end of their working lives is twofold. One on hand, there are serious environmental issues as the materials that make for rechargeable batteries are also toxic to the environment.

This leads to the second problem, with poisonous by products of decaying phones and batteries leeching into the ground in landfill, potentially contaminating the groundwater and making their way into the food chain.

Mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium are all parts of consumer electronics, and are all undesirable decaying in landfill.

 

The e-Waste Solution

A way around the problem of sending old electronics to landfill is the relatively new and innovative field of e-waste recycling. In the United States a federal agency identified that over four million tonnes of e-waste are making their way into landfill each and every year in that country alone, with the already huge number set to grow.

 

The Benefits

Aside from the obvious benefits of keeping the groundwater and the air free of chemical grade pollutants, e-waste recycling also helps conserve resources. Recycling means that the same resources don’t have to be mined again which means the supply chain is under less pressure to mine new materials.

The sheer amount of steel in phones means that thousands of tonnes of coal and iron are required to produce those shiny screens and sleek finishes.

 

New Laws

Europe is known for it’s energy efficiency leadership on environmental issues. In fact, tough new legislation passed in the European parliament make it illegal to dump e-waste from old phones, computers and other machines into landfill.

While it remains to be seen whether Australia will follow suit with our own laws, we strongly believe in the social and environmental benefits that e-waste recycling can bring.

If you’d like to know more about e-waste recycling and it’s benefits just give us a call or contact us by clicking here. Our sister company T2 Environmental provides clients with a full range of e-waste recycling services for their old equipment, and at Tele2 we can help you make the best decision about the hardware to replace it to make your business more efficient.