Before mankind was doomed to mortality by the Almighty, Earth was defined as the “delicious Paradise” in John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ for whom, this was
“…his new delight,
Mankind created, and for him this World”.
But now, as we cast a glance at our surroundings, we can’t help but agree with what Milton claimed to be the "womb of Nature, and perhaps her grave". In ancient times, man still had his messiah in form of Jesus Christ, but in the modern age, the destruction that god's best creation has caused to himself and the environment around him is beyond repair.
The landfills that were primarily created to bury the man-made waste under the earth, seems to be shrieking with terror as the amount of scrap that is being eventually dumped has surpassed the threshold of these areas. The ground can no more contain the hazardous materials dumped in it giving rise to huge heaps of waste that are being exposed to the open air thus slowing down the rate of decomposition. However, you will be thrilled to know that recent studies have proven that the electronic wastes that include mobile phones, office, and home appliances and gadgets have surpassed the organic and plastic waste. If the statistics are to be believed, e-wastes contributed to more than half of the total wastes dumped and weighed around 44.7 million metrics tones in 2016; but there is no stopping at that, if the rate at which people are continuing to dump the wastes remain steady, within 3 years, this number will grow by 17%. If this fact doesn’t horrify and alarm readers, we are unsure about what will.
A developed nation and stalwart in the world of electronics, Canada, along with other influential countries like China, India, and Africa are being held responsible as the top contributors to the waste dumped through home appliances. Apart from the peril that these wastes are introducing the environment to, the toxic elements that are being released by these wastes when comes in contact with the open air that includes water and dust particles, catalyze the process of release and when reaches the system of man and other animals, can bear symptoms of respiratory disorders, skin allergies, and even cancer. Nonetheless, Canada's Waste Reduction and Management Division has signed the 1992 Basel Convention that strives at controlling and decreasing the dumping of e-waste and consequently reducing the risks to the environment and man.
The production of scrap in such bulk shouldn't come as a surprise considering the advancements made in science and technology with each passing minute. The swift development is pooling in new methods to operate these machines efficiently thus reducing their prices by a huge margin. Such lessening of retail is tempting the homemakers to purchase one appliance for each purpose to ensure enhanced convenience. With each appliance installation, the previous one is being merely discarded in the dump-yard without any proper thoughts or recycling it. Moreover, there are a lot of houses that prefer home appliance installation all by themselves without hiring a professional appliance technician that leads to increased waste disposal due to the proper lack of knowledge and ways of the fitting. Additionally, because the prices of these appliances are plunging, people are choosing to simply buy something new and more attractive for their homes rather than spending in appliance repair.
The e-wastes are not restricting their pollution only to the land; they are imposing higher risks by flowing into the water bodies making them dirty and unhealthy. The speed at which the snow caps of our earth are melting and the abnormal alteration of the seasonal cycles are proof enough that we are not far from witnessing the final destruction. It has been seen that only 20% of the total e-waste that includes a generous amount of home appliances were sent for recycling or reuse; the rest of it has been left to the earth to decompose itself. The gnawing risks created by this scrap are not only for Canada to ponder upon; it quite meticulously qualifies for global concern. Most of the developing countries are taking a step back from controlling these wastes due to the lack of enough resources and principal and further, by overcoming the restrictions posed by the International Environmental Laws, the black marketers are gaining an upper hand in this business by gathering parts from the home appliances that are discarded, an then polishing and trading them as new at much higher prices. Even if one particular land is cleaned, the effects curated from the surrounding areas will be either borne by air or water that contributes to intensifying the Greenhouse Effect and accelerated Global Warming.
Your role in controlling the wastes
The damage that we have already caused to Mother Earth stands at a point from where its original state cannot be retrieved; however, there are ways, taking recourse to which will help you do your bit.
- Rather than simply discarding the home appliances in your nearby dustbin, check if you can conduct an appliance repair at an affordable amount that will last you for a few more years.
- If yes, then get in touch with an appliance technician and call him for a survey to check the state of the devices. Remember to seek help even during appliance installation because this is not only a cost-effective method, but every small bit like using the exact amount of electrical objects that will be required for installation or repair will be carried by them and later recycled after every use thus reducing the total amount of waste.
- When you are carrying out an appliance repair, make sure that the excess wastes are being deposited in the e-recycle bin of the community or sent to the organizations that collect and conduct official procedures of recycling.
- When you are buying a new home appliance, choose the dealers or appliance technicians who are willing to take back the instruments after they have been completely eroded. Not only will you receive some share on giving these apparatuses back, but as a responsible citizen, you will know that the parts are being sent for recovery and reintroduction in the manufacturing procedures.