E-Waste (Electronics Waste)
The rapid pace of change in the field of electronics has made home appliances and office equipment affordable and widely used. Much of this equipment adds to a steadily increasing waste stream. E-scrap, or e-waste, refers to electronic products that have finished their useful life. This includes televisions and monitors, computers, computer peripherals, audio and stereo equipment, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras, telephones, fax and copying machines, cellular phones, wireless devices, and video game consoles.
What can we do?
Many businesses throughout Kansas collect and process e-scrap. KOR urges every person to locate the business nearest them for the safe and environmentally appropriate way to dispose of worn out and out-of-date electronic items.
Where do I take my e-waste?
The following website is designed to help you locate locations across Kansas where e-waste is accepted: www.kansasrecycles.org
KDHE has an informative site we suggest you visit: www.ksewaste.org/
Other Sites of Interest:
The National Center for Electronics - 1800Recycling.com This is a resource for electronics recycling. Through the phone service, mobile app and website, 1800Recycling.com offers a database of recycling opportunities searchable by material and ZIP code.
Electronics Take Back Programs – www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/donate.htm#mftr. List of retailers and manufacturers that have committed to collecting, reusing, or recycling old electronics.
EPA Plug Into E-Cycling – www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm EPA’s campaign to encourage recycling of consumer electronics.
My Green Electronics – www.mygreenelectronics.org/ Consumer Electronics Association - Learn about the 4 R’s and electronics.
Where can I donate my old E-Waste? – www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/donate.htm EPA's listing to local, manufacturer and government sponsored programs.
E-scrap takes up valuable landfill space and contains substances that should be disposed of in an environmentally appropriate manner. The following substances can be found in e-scrap:
Substance Occurrence in e-waste:
- PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) Condensers, Transformers
- TBBA (tetrabromo-bisphenol-A)
- PBB (polybrominated biphenyls)
- PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) Fire retardants for plastics (thermoplastic components, cable insulation)
- TBBA is presently the most widely used flame retardant in printed wiring boards and casings.
- Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) Cooling unit, Insulation foam
- PVC (polyvinyl chloride) Cable insulation
- Heavy metals and other metals
- Arsenic Small quantities in the form of gallium arsenide within light emitting diodes
- Barium Getters in CRT
- Beryllium Power supply boxes which contain silicon controlled rectifiers and x-ray lenses
- Cadmium Rechargeable NiCd-batteries, fluorescent layer (CRT screens), printer inks and toners, photocopying-machines (printer drums)
- Chromium VI Data tapes, floppy-disks
- Lead CRT screens, batteries, printed wiring boards
- Lithium Li-batteries
- Mercury Fluorescent lamps that provide backlighting in LCDs, in some alkaline batteries and mercury wetted switches
- Nickel Rechargeable NiCd-batteries or NiMH-batteries, electron gun in CRT
- Rare Earth elements (Yttrium, Europium) Fluorescent layer (CRT-screen)
- Selenium Older photocopying-machines (photo drums)
- Zinc sulphide Interior of CRT screens, mixed with rare earth metals
- Toner Dust Toner cartridges for laser printers / copiers
- Radio-active substances
- Americium Medical equipment, fire detectors, active sensing element in smoke detectors