Recycling: Cathode Ray Tube and Toxic Heavy Metal

There are numerous reasons as to why we should recycle old electronic and computer devices. The most important reason is health. Many if, not all the electronic devices we use contain some chemical that is harmful to us. “Unfortunately, improper disposal of e-waste creates a significant burden on landfills because toxic substances can leach into the soil and groundwater”. For example, cathode ray tube (CRT) television monitors contain, on average, 4 to 8 pounds of lead, a highly toxic heavy metal.

According to Global Futures Foundation, Electronic waste accounts for “70 percent” of the overall toxic waste currently found in landfills. In addition to valuable metals like aluminum, electronics often contain hazardous materials such as mercury. Old electronics and computer devices are not wasted they are useful materials such as glass, copper, aluminum, plastic and other components can often be extracted and reused.

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The 2 places near me that you can take such equipment for recycling or donation: Goodwill Industries of Dallas – Dell Reconnect Donation Site located at 2116 E Belt Line Rd Carrollton, TX 75006 (214)-638-2800 and CCA-Christian Community Action Drop-Off Location located at 3050 N Josey Ln Carrollton, TX 75007 (972) 394-9060. The equipment is taken apart and 99 percent of all materials from electronics are reused in a different capacity or sold. The majority of these materials are used for new electronic items because some of the material, such as the plastic, is already the right grade for electronic devices.

The material from electronics can be used for other products, such as plastic components that are used in the manufacturing of lighters or wood composites. When containers of old computers first began arriving in West Africa a few years ago, Ghanaians welcomed what they thought were donations to help bridge the digital divide. Little did the countries who donate these electronics know “organized criminals sometimes comb through these drives for personal information to use in scams”.

In the hard drives the criminals can get information about you from the drive, no matter where it is hidden. “That’s particularly a problem in a place like Ghana, which is listed by the U. S. State Department as one of the top sources of cyber-crime in the world. And it’s not just individuals who are exposed. One of the drives the team has purchased contains a $22 million government contract”. It turns out the drive came from Northrop Grumman, one of America’s largest military contractors. And it contains details about sensitive, multi-million dollar U. S. overnment contracts.

They also find contracts with the defense intelligence agency, NASA, even Homeland Security. And in China to earn money, women cook circuit boards to salvage the computer chips, which have trace amounts of gold. Men, children and tens of thousands of people working here in the toxic trade breathe the lead tin solders. They know the danger of the chemical, but they have to feed their family. http://earth911. com/recycling/electronics/e-waste-harmful-materials/ http://www. pbs. org/frontlineworld/stories/ghana804/video/video_index. html

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