This E-Waste Day we want to draw attention to a global challenge that demands our attention. In 2023, according to the United Nations, each person will contribute an astonishing 8 kilograms of electronic waste, culminating in 61.3 million tonnes of discarded electronics worldwide – a weight that surpasses even the mighty Great Wall of China. However, the reality is only 17.4% of this will find its way to proper recycling.
This is where International E-Waste Day, an annual awareness-raising celebration, comes in. Keep reading to find out what E-Waste Day is and why it matters.
What is E-Waste Day?
E-Waste Day, originally initiated by the WEEE Forum, is a global event dedicated to highlighting the growing electronic waste crisis in our technologically advancing world, emphasising the urgent need for action.
With the motto “You can recycle anything with a plug, battery, or cable” this year’s event seeks to bring attention to the concept of “invisible e-waste.” Beyond the obvious electronic gadgets like computers and mobile phones, there is a substantial amount of e-waste hiding in plain sight, often overlooked and inadequately managed – referred to as “invisible e-waste.”
This category encompasses items such as:
- Cables and chargers
- Gadget accessories (earphones, adapters, and phone cases that are no longer in use but still contain electronic components)
- Older or Broken gadgets
- Kitchen Appliances (blenders, toasters, or coffee makers)
- LED bulbs and light fixtures
- Children’s toys
E-Waste Day is here to encourage businesses to dispose of their smaller electronic items correctly.
Why should I recycle E-Waste?
Many people are unaware that up to 75% of materials found in electronic devices can be recycled and repurposed. Proper recycling of electronic waste involves sending all electrical items to a recycling centre, where they are either sorted for a second life or broken down into raw materials for reuse. Surprisingly, materials like metals and plastics reclaimed from e-waste can even be transformed into materials for children’s playgrounds!
When electronic waste is improperly disposed of, we lose valuable resources such as gold, silver, copper, and ‘Critical Raw Materials’. Instead of reusing these existing resources, we enter into a cycle of mining and extracting fresh materials to meet the demand for new electronics. This approach contradicts Westminster’s commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices, where our goal is to support a circular economy by making the most of existing resources.
By responsibly managing these often-overlooked electronic items, we can contribute to resource conservation, promote sustainable practices, and support the city’s journey towards a greener, fairer environment.
Recycling electronic waste is essential because it allows us to reuse up to 75% of materials, prevents the loss of valuable resources, supports a circular economy, and contributes to a greener, fairer environment.
How should I recycle E-Waste?
Here at Westminster Commercial Waste Services, we want to make recycling as easy as possible which is why we collect any items that have a plug, use batteries, need charging or have a picture of a crossed-out wheelie bin. Simply get in touch to request a convenient collection via this link.
If you regularly dispose of electrical waste, we can also offer a WEEE Compliance Scheme in partnership with Veolia that includes WEEE storage and collection containers, increased kerbside collection systems, and WEEE ‘amnesties’.
Whatever collection option you choose, it’s important that you pick what is best for you. If you’re unsure, simply get in touch to speak to an advisor.