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    What is e-waste and how to dispose of it correctly?

    What is e-waste and how to dispose of it correctly?

    by Team AllYourVideogames | Oct 18, 2022 | News |

    Have you heard and know what is e-waste and the main points about it?

    Many people may have questions about the definition, what fits into it, and how to properly dispose of their e-waste.

    If the disposal is not done correctly, the consequences for the environment and, consequently, our human health, can be devastating for the world.

    To clear your doubts and explain the main points about it, below we will talk about:

    • What is e-waste;
    • The impacts they can bring to the environment;
    • The legal consequences of a bad disposal;
    • The ways you have to know how to get rid of your e-waste.

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    What is junk mail?

    Before we explain in more detail what electronic waste is, it is necessary to know that it can also be called e-waste, electronic waste or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

    These terms are used for electronic products that no longer have a use and will be discarded.

    They can also be recycled so they don't go to a landfill and get a new function.

    There are four basic categories that we can separate e-waste and that will help you better understand what e-waste is.

    Each category has its different specifications, taking into account aspects such as application and size of electronic waste.

    In this way, if they are not discarded and handled correctly, the negative impacts on the environment can be severe. 

    Each category also has its own transport, collection and recycling technology, which varies from one category to another.

    The four categories of e-waste that will help you define what is e-waste are: 

    1. big equipment: equipment such as washing machines, refrigerators, stoves, freezers, microwaves, TVs, air conditioners and the like fit into this category;
    2. Small equipment and appliances: Some of the electronic waste that fit into this category are: mixers, vacuum cleaners, toasters, mixers, fans, electric tools, hair dryers, digital cameras, radios, calculators, etc.;
    3. Electronic computer and telephony equipment: This category includes equipment such as notebooks, computers, tablets, monitors, printers and cell phones;
    4. Portable batteries and batteries: Lastly, but also very important, we have categories for electronic waste such as 9 V portable batteries, AA, AAA models, rechargeable batteries, chargers, etc.

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    The environment and e-waste

    Now that you know what electronic waste is, it is important to check the impacts it can have on the environment.

    The amount of e-waste has increased dramatically with the technological advancement of personal computing and mobile telephony.

    We see this in simple day-to-day situations, like buying a new phone, tablet or notebook.

    It can often be more worthwhile and more practical than fixing an old one.

    This is still encouraged by planned obsolescence, a practice used by manufacturers that serves to encourage consumers to exchange their digital devices, which are often in good condition, for newer models with better technologies.

    Several of the elements contained in e-waste can remain in the soil for centuries, releasing toxic substances, even though they are biodegradable.

    Other elements used in these equipment are noble materials such as copper, platinum, silver, gold and other rare and heavy metals, which are not easily found in nature. 

    In addition, several of these materials that we mentioned and others such as glass and plastics can be reused through the dismantling of these electronic waste, in addition to being recycled and used as raw material for the manufacture of new products.

    This ends up being a great way to contribute to the reduction of resource extraction directly from nature, which causes great damage.

    Furthermore, this is a way to generate new jobs and business chains. 

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    Is throwing your old cell phone in common trash a crime?

    When we explained what e-waste is above, we also mentioned that the cell phone is e-waste.

    And a doubt that many may have is whether throwing a cell phone in the common trash fits as a crime.

    Answering directly, yes, this action is considered a crime according to Article 33 of Law No. 12.305/2010, also known as the National Solid Waste Policy Law, or PNRS. 

    According to the Law, the manufacturer itself is responsible for carrying out the reverse logistics of electronics that were sold by them.

    Thus, we can say that the owner of the device that wants to recycle must look for the manufacturer who, by law, is obliged to accept the old device and dispose of it in an ecological way. 

    In order to operate in the market following the legislation, these companies need to have a reverse logistics system implemented, in order to collect and recycle electronics correctly, or also have a system for disposal. 

    Both the company that fails and does not have one of these systems, and the consumer who disposes of it improperly, will suffer sanctions provided for by the PNRS.

    In summary, we can say that the citizen who chooses to throw his cell phone or some electronic waste in a common garbage, will be fined. 

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    What to do with e-waste? How and where to dispose of it in an ecological way?

    Now that you know in detail what e-waste is and the consequences for both the environment and for you if you dispose of e-waste incorrectly, we are going to explain how you can do it properly and avoid problems.

    Some things you can do with your old device are:

    • Donate the same to someone, an institution or company in need, if the device still works. Make donations to NGOs or people who cannot afford to buy in stores, for example;
    • You can sell the parts or the whole device, in addition to exchanging it for another consumer good that you may want or need. There are stores that carry out these exchanges or even buy the parts or the device;
    • As mentioned above, the most appropriate option if you want to get rid of the device is to contact the manufacturer so that it can recycle through reverse logistics and get rid of the device correctly. This option is more suitable if the device no longer works.

    There are some more extreme cases, when the device is too old or there are no manufacturing companies to contact, or when the company is acting outside the law and does not accept reverse logistics.

    In these situations, our suggestion is that the consumer look for cooperatives that work by properly disposing of these materials.

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    How do I find the cooperative closest to me?

    If you don't know how to find a cooperative near you, we'll help you with that.

    Some sites end up functioning as search tools to find cooperatives.

    One of the most used and that we also suggest you to use is eCycle.

    The site allows the user to specify which equipment you want to discard or recycle, based on your location.

    The platform itself filters results from cooperatives at your fingertips.

    However, we need to record that you need to find out about the correct procedure for taking out e-waste, in addition to the opening hours.

    Contact the cooperative and ask your questions, as their operation is not standard.

    So the recycling process may be different.

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