Have you ever wondered how keyboards and other miscellaneous electronics that are made up of so many different parts and materials are recycled? If that sounds like you then you have come to the right place, in this article we will be telling you everything that you need to know about how it is done?
Why is Recycling Your Electronics Very Important?
Majority of people have been made aware of the dangers of plastics that can take up to thousands of years to decompose and can hurt marine life and other endangered animals who either consume or get trapped in the plastic waste.
Electronic devices do make use of a lot of plastic parts and materials however for the majority of electronic devices to work they require chemicals such as mercury which is found in the majority of electronics with screens such as TVs and smartphones and also another example is Cadmium that is used in rechargeable batteries found in phones, laptops, and even your electric toothbrush. These kind of chemicals are harmful to the environment as they can cause soil contamination and be a danger to human and animal life.
Why Is It Hard to Recycle Electronics?
Electronics come in all shapes and sizes and can include anything from keyboards to TVs and of course smartphones. This makes them really hard to recycle as they are all so different that it is very difficult to automate a process of recycling them with so many people using different types of electronics devices.
There is also currently no standardized method in the world of recycling electronics from individuals which adds to the problem as it is up to the individual countries and other local governments to regulate the recycling facilities within their borders.
Furthermore, there are new brands of electronics coming out every single year, for example, the various smartphones such as the Apple iPhones and the Samsung Galaxies that release new versions every year. With every new yearly edition there comes new challenges that are down to potential new materials used in the phones, new layouts in the devices and also the challenge of automating the recycling process to make it efficient and profitable for recycling companies otherwise they will have no incentive to carry it out.
As mentioned above the majority of modern-day electronics contain a lot of chemicals that are toxic, these chemicals need to be safely separated from the recyclable material. Mercury, for example, dissolves at room temperature and lead to what is known as ‘Mercury Poisoning’ that can lead to kidney failure and respiratory failure that ultimately leads to death.
How Are Electronics Recycled?
- First of all the electronics for recycling are collected and transported to the recycling facility where they will be treated.
- For tasks such as Keyboard recycling, computer mice recycling, and cord recycling they are broken down by hand by the employees at the recycling facilities. into different materials such as the plastics and metals. It is important to note that for bigger electronics they may be broken down by machines in order to save time.
- All the materials are then separated in their individual raw materials such as the plastics and the various types of metals
- Next, any chemicals such as Mercury and Cadmium are dealt with in a responsible and safe way in order to protect workers at the recycling facility from any harm. All the chemicals are also collected as part of the recycling process.
- Once all the materials such as metals and plastics are collected and separated they are melted in order to remove any small remaining impurities and make them ready to be re-used.
Pros of Recycling Electronics
All resources are limited, we cannot keep manufacturing more and more electronics by depending just on extracting new metals and materials for the components as eventually, we will run out. An estimated 90% of all electronics are recyclable so we simply have no excuse. – It reduces the amount of pollution and toxic chemicals in our environment which protects humans, animals, and plants from harm. – Recycling Electronics creates long term sustainable employment as there will always be a need for recycling in the modern world.
Cons of Recycling Electronics
Currently recycling in the overwhelming majority of cases is more expensive than simply extracting metal ores and producing chemicals and plastics.- The toxic materials that are used in electronics are very difficult to manage safely so there is always a big danger of accidents.- Recycling of working electronics can prevent them from being donated to disadvantaged people who may not be able to afford them.
No matter how expensive, time-consuming or boring it may be to recycle your old electronics it just needs to be done. We hope that you learned how keyboard recycling and other types of recycling works and why it is beneficial for our planet. If you would be interested in recycling some of your own electronics then please check out our website https://chicagolamprecycling.com/.