As the world we live in becomes more reliant on technology, it’s not surprising to find a new type of waste turning up in our trash heaps: e-waste — discarded electronic equipment ranging from batteries to refrigerators, to even the smartphones that are growing increasingly ubiquitous. E-waste is also the fastest-growing domestic waste in the world, thanks to growing incomes and falling prices; in fact, you and I are probably guilty to some extent of contributing to this unsettling trend. To combat this, the Singapore government established an e-waste management system in 2021, through which producers of electronic equipment are now responsible for the collection and treatment of e-waste. Nevertheless, we too should do our part in e-waste recycling, and there are 3 key reasons why this is essential on so many fronts.
Protecting the Environment
We are probably more familiar with the environmental impacts of discarding more traditional waste such as paper and plastic, but what about e-waste? Most e-waste contains substances like cadmium and lead that could harm both the environment and our health if not handled properly (read: incinerated). This also increases the carbon emissions that accelerate global warming, a phenomenon that we have already started to feel the effects of. Additionally, e-waste also contains valuable and scarce resources like silver and gold, both of which are mined extensively all over the world. This destroys large swathes of land that have been dug up and tunneled by miners, forever scarring what precious forests we have left. E-recycling helps conserve these precious metals, save our trees, and reduce the number of harmful substances that will eventually poison our bodies.
Reduced Risk of Data Leaks
E-waste recycling can securely and permanently erase data from discarded electronic devices so you don’t have to worry about compromising leaks falling into unscrupulous hands. After all, these devices contain large volumes of data that can still be retrieved even though you have seemingly deleted it. Of course, this can go both ways: data retrieval is a lifesaver if you need to recover files that have been accidentally deleted; perhaps not so welcome if you have personal or private information that needs to be erased. In fact, even if your device has been wiped, it’s still possible to recover data. It is therefore important to ensure that your discarded electronic devices are completely destroyed for your own peace of mind. Metalo’s electronic recycling services, for example, go to great lengths to accomplish that, from degaussing to dismantling. You’ll even receive a certificate of destruction as a guarantee that your device has been fully destroyed.
Save Landfill Space
It’s not rocket science that e-waste is non-biodegradable. This means that improperly discarded e-waste will sit on landfills for a long time before being incinerated. In a country as small as Singapore, landfills are a pressing issue because of its limited land, with experts predicting that Semakau Landfill will run out of space by 2035. E-recycling can help decrease the rate that landfills are accumulated. Additionally, it also extracts essential materials from old devices and equipment that can be processed and reused in manufacturing new devices, therefore reducing the need for harmful mining and other resource-procuring activities that are detrimental to the environment.
E-waste recycling isn’t a tall order; there are more e-waste recycling bins being set up around the country in places as common as a Shell petrol station for instance. There are also more dedicated electronic recycling services available as well. Let us do our part, however insignificant it may seem, to conserve our world for generations to come.
You can dispose of your non-regulated electronic products at any of the selected Shell locations at any time.