Guidelines For E-Waste Management
E-Waste or electronic waste refers to discarded electronic or electrical devices that are no longer needed. Used computers that have been resold, recycled, reused, scrapped, salvaged for parts and manufactured for use in computer systems are also called e-wastage.
The United States is the leading producer of the IT E-Waste. Some countries are not very efficient at handling their E-Waste because of the poor management of the collected E-Waste from their citizens. These countries also tend to sell their E-Waste as non-recycled, thereby increasing the number of people in these countries who need to dispose of their E-Waste. In addition, E-Waste is a valuable source of energy because of its ability to generate electric current even without being used. However, the E-Waste is still harmful and it must be properly managed.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued numerous guidelines to help E-Waste management companies manage the E-Waste. The guidelines require E-Waste management companies to collect, sort, segregate, secure, and dispose of E-Waste safely. A company may choose to either recycle their E-Waste to reduce their E-Waste disposal costs or, they may choose to dispose of their E-Waste in a hazardous environment. These hazardous environments may include landfills and dumps; the use of closed systems such as thermal transfer units to dispose E-Waste; burning, incinerating, crushing, flaring, or using solidified sludge as an E-Waste disposal method; burning E-Waste in power plants; or, disposing of the E-Waste through incineration or composting. Some E-Waste companies do not have a good system in place to dispose of their E-Waste and are not complying with these guidelines.
The Environmental Protection Agency has also taken action against E-Waste dumping. Some E-Waste dumping was illegal until recently, but the new laws have made this illegal and it is illegal to dump E-Waste on private property. If an E-Waste dumping case is brought before the court, the judge or jury will decide if the E-Waste dumping is in accordance with the law or not. The EPA has fined companies that have dumped their E-Waste on private property and E-Waste dumping can be held up to two years in prison or up to a fine of up to $75 million dollars and/ton, depending on the gravity of the dump.
E-Waste disposal companies must pay for all their services as well as they are mandated by law to take responsibility for any spills or damages that occur during the course of the disposal process. If the E-Waste is spilled on private property and there is damage caused, the owner must reimburse the E-Waste disposal company for the cost of the repair.
As mentioned, E-Waste is considered to be dangerous and the EPA has determined that disposal of E-Waste is hazardous to the environment. The EPA also states that the cost of E-Waste removal is expensive, so it is important that E-Waste management companies abide by the strict guidelines that are set forth in order to protect the environment from further pollution and degradation of the E-Waste. With the guidelines in place, E-Waste disposal companies can reduce their costs by following the guidelines outlined above in order to keep the environment safe.