To understand the term electronic waste we have to first understand the term electronics and electronic equipment. We also have to evaluate the importance of these gadgets in our life. So first, let us take a look at that.
Electronic Equipment! An electronic equipment is a machine which processes a particular input and gives a predefined output with the help of electricity. For example an mp3 player will play the music which is given as input in the form of digital files. The output here is the sound played by the machine. This machine or mp3 player needs energy to work which is in form of electricity. Electronic equipment are all around us. Today, we are surrounded by electronic equipment and gadgets. We cannot imagine our life without these gadgets today. As more and more people are using these gadgets it is becoming compulsory for everyone to use them. Even those who do not want to use them are compelled to use electronic gadgets and equipment. It is shaping our modern world. Be it, fan, AC, TV, light bulb, mercury, LED, Washing machine or a smart phone, we are heavily using them and our life is slowly becoming dependent on them. Work is accomplished much faster, easier and effectively with the use of these gadgets. For example a calculator can perform calculations much faster than a human being. It is also error free. The computer is being used to carry out office tasks around the globe. Our modern work and life style is incomplete without them.
Additional Electronic Equipment – Accessories We also use many accessories with electronic gadgets to enhance their functionality. For example we use memory cards or pen drive to enhance the storage capacity of computers and smart phones. Similarly, a keyboard and mouse are compulsory for computer as they do not come built in with computers. Many people who use a laptop also buy a set of separate mouse or keyboard. Almost all of us buy an ear phone for smart phone for listening music. Similarly there are many accessories used with electronic equipment. On an average a person has three to four gadgets on one device. This means that on per one million device, 3 to 4 million additional devices exists.
Electronic Waste and How Is It Formed – So, we see above that how electronic gadgets have an important place in our life. Given our 7 billion population around the world, it is also obvious that there is a presence of such equipment on such a large scale. This is where the problem of electronic waste starts. No electronic equipment is immortal. That is they have a life span. After that they are seize to be useful. The biggest problem with these electronic equipment is that they have a really short life. Some equipment like TV, fridge, washing machine, computers, laptop, have a life span of ten to twelve years. Even this is small, but it is very large compare to the life of accessories. Gadgets like smart phones or iPods may have a life span of two to three years. But the accessories we use have a very short life time. Accessories are wear out in six to nine months. This is where the real problem begins.
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All the gadgets and accessories and electronic equipment are very useful until they are working properly. The moment they fail to work, it turns into garbage for the user. Now the user throws them. These equipment are neither any use for any animal or insect. Neither, they are going to be decomposed because of their artificial nature. Now millions of gadgets and billions of accessories are in use around the world. Just think if they turn into garbage, what a mess it will create. Unless we recycle these products, they are not useful for the company owners and product manufacturers either. Now this is creating huge pile of electronic waste around the world. It corrupts space, it is a waste of resources and it is also a matter of serious concern. Governments around the world need to take some serious action on this issue. If someone comes up with a solution then the governments should look into that solution also.
The most significant solution to this problem is recycling of electronic waste. Governments around the world should encourage people to establish such recycling plants. An alternate solution to this problem can be use of such product which can be easily reused and is long lasting.