Electronic recycling is a fairly new concept compared to the conventional materials that we have been recycling for a significantly longer period of time. However, given the rapid increase in e-waste that the world generates — 74.7 million tonnes by 2030 — it is imperative to not only be aware of the practice of e-recycling, but also discern and quash misconceptions about it that hinder our desire and ability to be even more effective in doing so. This is even more pressing In a highly interconnected country like Singapore where misinformation spreads like wildfire. With that in mind, here are 4 common misconceptions about electronic recycling in Singapore.
Only Large Electronics Are Worth Recycling
Often, we tend to associate an object’s worth with its size, and when it comes to electronic recycling in Singapore, we might think of large electronics like old televisions and computer monitors as the items that are recycled more diligently. The reality is that even small and compact electronics like cell phones and handheld consoles should be disposed of correctly, as these devices, regardless of size, contain components that are made from toxic materials such as mercury, lead, and the lithium that can be found in batteries, all of which should not be left in landfills as these chemicals will seep into the air that we breathe in. A rule of thumb? All electronics are worth recycling.
All E-waste Ends in Landfills
Despite the efforts made to recycle e-waste, landfills are still ridden with discarded electronics, which begets the question — is e-waste disposal in Singapore ultimately a futile endeavour? As it turns out, most e-waste disposal companies in Singapore actually take meticulous steps to ensure that recyclable components are recycled, and toxic components are safely removed before discarding the safe, disposable shells that ultimately wind up in landfills. Here at Metalo, we’re fully committed to both the ethical and environmentally friendly e-recycling practices, as well as the secure destruction of sensitive information that can be found in your devices.
E-waste Is Not That Harmful
What’s the big deal about e-waste, some might ask. After all, we often form a misguided correlation between the apparent cleanliness of an item and its potential risks to the environment. Electronics are often clean, so surely they can’t be as harmful, can they? To assess that, we need to consider what these electronic parts consist of. As mentioned earlier, most electronics contain chemicals that are harmful to both your health and the environment. For instance, any device that uses batteries will contain cadmium, barium, lithium, and flame retardants — materials that are detrimental to your health once ingested. How? By seeping into the ground and water, and subsequently, into the seafood and plants that we consume. Other toxic elements commonly found in electronics include lead and mercury, which can damage one’s nervous system when exposed to them for an extended period of time. Electronic recycling in Singapore can help keep these harmful components away from the general populace.
The Government Has No Involvement in E-waste Recycling
Above all else, a country that wishes to deploy a successful electronic recycling programmes requires its government’s full backing. Unless you’ve been keeping tabs on the Singapore government’s involvement in e-waste recycling initiatives, it’s understandably difficult to spot the policies that have been implemented over the years and the years to come. These include the Extended Producer Responsibility System, which holds the producers of electronic goods responsible for the collection of their products when they have run their course; and the Restriction of Hazardous Substances measures that limit the amount of harmful substances that any device is allowed to contain. In addition to these measures, the government has also released its masterplan to overhaul Singapore’s environmental footprint, including mandatory electronic recycling in Singapore for all government entities. Retail stores with more than 300sq ft of space will be required to provide e-waste bins on-site. Recycled electronics will then be sent to licensed e-waste disposal companies around Singapore, such as Metalo, for recycling and safe disposal.
For more information about Metalo’s e-waste disposal services, please visit our website!
You can dispose of your non-regulated electronic products at any of the selected Shell locations at any time.