Electronic goods are an integral part of daily living. They are often used for communication, catching up with daily news, data storage and much more. Therefore, both individuals and businesses are finding it more and more challenging to live without them. However, electronics such as computers have given rise to a waste disposal problem. Large quantities of computers are ending up in closets, storage areas, garages, attics, landfills and illegal dumps, when they become obsolete. Because of the environmental concerns, computer recycling is recommended highly for the following reasons:
· Reduce hazardous materials
Computers contain components that can prove harmful to the environment. These components include cathode ray tubes which are basically the picture tubes in computer monitors. These glass components contain lead. Printed circuit boards present in computers are also hazardous. They contain mercury, lead, cadmium and chromium. Batteries in computers may contain cadmium, nickel, mercury and lead. Although these components are not a problem when the product is purchased, they become a concern during disposal, at a time when the machine is obsolete. Therefore, recycling reduces these hazardous materials from finding their way into the environment.
· Contribute to charity
Computers are often refurbished by various established programs. These refurbished computers are normally contributed to school to benefit the children, particularly in poor communities. This helps to extend the school budget to other needs. Some of the refurbished computers are provided to no-profit organizations and individuals who may not afford new computers.
· Save manufacturing costs
Recycled computers generate large amounts of reusable components. Computers are often disassembled to support the remanufacturing program. Many of these components are often removed for reuse. For example, the CPU is often disassembled and the electronic parts sold to various recyclers or manufacturers. Some of these important parts include the processor, power supply, rechargeable battery, hard drive, memory chips, circuit board and various sound and video cards. The metal components in the computer are normally separated and delivered to scrap dealers. The items are then sold to smelters who melt them down to make new products.
· Workforce training tool
Computer refurbishing programs provide an excellent platform where people get the ideal opportunity to train and gain computer skills. The refurbishing programs provide these training tools for young adults, correctional facilities and the physically and mentally challenged. The correctional facilities help to provide computer skills to inmates. Upon their release, these skills would help them get jobs.