What is e-waste?
E-waste is a term used to describe the waste stream generated by electronic products. It includes old televisions, computers, microwaves, and anything else you might have in your office that plugs into an electrical outlet.
This could include items such as printers or even rechargeable batteries for electronics. What are some reasons why I should care about e-waste? You may ask yourself what type of impact this has on the environment, but you also need to think about how it impacts business productivity. The more time employees are spending looking through rubbish bins for paper-clips or dealing with broken copiers, means less work getting done. This puts companies at risk when trying to keep up with their competitors.
How can companies address e-waste?
The first step is to set up recycling stations around your office with bins for paper, batteries, and other standard waste products. Having these recyclable items placed in an open area where they can be easily accessed will encourage employees to use them instead of throwing everything away at the same time.
Incentivise recycling through a reward system where you give back points, money, or other perks when an item has been recycled and responsibly disposed of. Reward systems are a powerful way to encourage behaviour that aligns with company values – in this case, responsible waste disposal practices. Once again, donating the funds collected from these rewards would be another good option here too! You could also offer incentives such as discounts on products or services if they bring in certain items (e-waste).
What options are available for e-waste?
There are many options for what you can do with e-waste once it is collected. Electronics contain valuable materials such as gold, copper, and silver, recovered through proper recycling methods. For example, some of these metals could go towards producing new products like mobile phones or laptops! This means less carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from mining activities to create a brand new product, so this is another way that small business owners can protect the environment while remaining sustainable at their own company. For most businesses office waste can be collected by a commercial waste disposal company that offer wheelie bins to dispose of both paper and electronic waste.
Impact of e-waste on the environment
As the amount of e-waste increases, so makes the threat it poses to human health and the environment. Toxins in electronics can leak into soil and groundwater, affecting food sources and ecosystems worldwide. The UNEP states: “…e-Wastes contain a large number of hazardous substances which may pose potential risks to human beings and wildlife if inappropriately handled…the recycling process itself also generates waste streams [and] greenhouse gases”. Inappropriate handling practices result in toxic by-products when these products are broken down during recycling.