“Batteries, cell phones and computers are some of the devices that must be disposed especially when they finish their service life”
Many people know that items like batteries, cell phones and light bulbs, once they have stopped working, should not be thrown away with other household waste. But once separated, they do not know what to do with these wastes or where to take them, so they end up in the same place.
What we often do not know the reason behind this differentiation and the risks associated with poor disposal of this waste.
What are they and what danger they represent
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), also called post-consumer waste, are all those electronic or electrical devices that have reached the end of its useful life and can be considered obsolete.
Electronic waste includes a wide and growing range of from bulky household appliances (refrigerators, air conditioners, stereos) to cell phones, computers and other consumer electronics discarded by their users.
These wastes contain minimal amounts of hazardous materials. toxic substances such as lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, selenium, cobalt and arsenic can be found in circuit boards, monitors, switches, batteries laptops, etc.
During use this poses no danger, but when the life of these devices ends, these substances may begin to leak; and if they were discarded on the floor, open water bodies or air, carry a serious impact on the environment and can endanger human health.
That is why it is necessary to have them in specialized places.
High speed than current electronic devices become obsolete and are replaced, has led to rapid growth of this type of waste: the UN estimates that about 50 million tons are produced annually.
What the law says
Against this background, and considering that much of this waste can be recycled and recovered (as ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, plastics, glass or precious metals), the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development has governed since 2007, producers , manufacturers, importers, distributors and marketers of electronic devices, to take an active role in the management of WEEE.
The law requires them to take responsibility for these products when it has finished its useful life, developing programs and collecting resumes and managing the proper disposal of these wastes.
How they end
After the appliances are collected certified environmental managers are responsible for their respective transport, storage, sorting, dismantling and separation.
The teams that still serve reconditioned and donated to underprivileged children through Computers for Schools. The rest were draws the raw material that can be used in the manufacture of new products, and the remainder is exported to Canada, France and Finland, who receive and use their components to generate electricity.