What is e-waste?

Waste can receive a new life and they will become the main resource in the future.

Waste, the resource of the future

Rapid city growth and overpopulation have been putting a great strain on the natural resources consumption. At this point, humans consume the equivalent of 1.6 planets/year, according to a Global Footprint Network report.

Recycling plays an important role in finding a sustainable solution. When products end their life cycle, they are collected, sorted, then treated and processed, resulting in recycled materials that can be reintroduced in the economy. These secondary materials will be a source of energy at the office, for our car and they will become the main resources in industrial production.

Therefore, waste becomes the main resource of the future, replacing natural resources and contributing to a sustainable economic growth, all the while giving the planet the chance to regenerate.

Recycling means giving life to waste by turnig them into usable materials. This way, waste that can be processed and industrially treated and transformed into new products is called recyclable waste.

Where do I find them?

Every home appliance powered through an outlet that isn’t functioning anymore becomes waste electric or electronic equipment (WEEE). Not only do they contain dangerous substances, but also precious metals, like gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper aluminum and also plastic. If they are recycled accordingly, these valuable materials are reused as secondary raw material.
Any old equipment that can be connected to a power outlet, has a cable, battery or circuit board can be calles WEEE. If it fits this description, you know it needs to get recycled.

How do we sort correctly?

Used electronics are separated from other types of waste and stored in a special container at home. Afterwards, we search for the best selective collection and recycling solution:

  • Automatic selective collection machines in supermarkets
  • Automatic selective collection stations in shopping stores parking lots
  • Mobile solutions for home collection
  • Selective collection containers on the street
  • Selective collection containers at school

What happens to used electronics after selective collection?

According to the type of equipment, these go into different production flow, in order to be treated and recycled. What results out of the recycling process, the so-called “fractions” can get to be reused into new equipment production or used as is.

In order to decontaminate the large home appliances, refrigerators or AC cooling appliances that contain dangerous substances, they are first put through a process of extracting mineral oils and refrigerant agent and then chopped inside a completely isolated room, with controlled atmosphere. Separate fractions are then transported to dedicated containers for aluminum, iron, plastic and polyurethane foam.

The benefits of recycling your electronic equipment

  • Refrigerator recycling: The iron obtained as a result is used in car engine block manufacturing, copper and aluminum are used in heater manufacturing, and the plastic is used in manufacturing other refrigerators or AC cooling appliances.
  • Coffee filters, toasters, vacuum cleaners, washing machines are transformed into plastic fractions, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, glass, cables and integrated circuit boards.
  • Coffee filters and ironing machines: The plastic from coffee filters and ironing machines is reused into manufacturing musical instruments (a guitar, for example).
  • TV sets and monitors that contain cathode ray tube are safely disassembled manually, in order to isolate these components. The front panel is separated from the conical tube (which contains lead and fluorescent powder) so that the glass is not affected and the fluorescent powder containing dangerous substances is vacuumed. This results in fractions of glass, ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
  • Plastic, aluminum, and iron from IT&C equipment is used for manufacturing other products of the same type. Out of mobile phones, for example, we extract printed circuit boards, gold, silver, copper, cadmium, and other precious metals used for manufacturing jewelry or even ship components, garden furniture, license plates or car parts.

This is how waste receives a new life!

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