Why is it important to recycle your old computers?

Also known as e-waste, discarded computer equipment comprises monitors, printers, hard drives and circuit boards. Such items should on no account be thrown out with your household rubbish because they contain toxic substances, and are effectively hazardous waste. E-waste often ends up in the developing world, and the UN’s Environment Programme is alarmed by the amount of electronic goods which is improperly disposed of overseas. There is increasing concern about the pollution caused by hazardous chemicals and heavy metals in Africa, Asia and South America.

 

What’s in my PC?
Material Proportion
Plastic
Ferrous metals
Non-ferrous metals
Electronic boards
Glass
23%
32%
18%
12%
15%

 

A single computer can contain up to 2kg of lead, and the complex mixture of materials make PCs very difficult to recycle.

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