In our quest to improve our lives through technology we are creating electronic waste at an unprecedented rate. In response, researchers have seen more attention focused on methods to reduce, reuse and recycle electronic waste.

In the pursuit for faster computers, more features on smart phones and better picture quality, people are constantly replacing electronics with newer and better performing models. But what if there was a way to get that improved performance, more features and better picture without increasing the amount of stuff we buy? Well, there already is a movement afoot to reduce the amount of computer hardware that needs to be purchased in order to stay on top of the tech race. The term is “cloud computing” and although it may sound like a weather forecasting computer it is actually a concept of sharing resources such as computer memory, processing power, and software over a network. For example you may need a fast computer to run software that you don’t currently own and perhaps will only need for a set amount of time.

We know it’s easy to recycle cans and bottles but who wants your old computer that is far from high tech? The truth is that lots of people might want it including schools, low-income earners, and even those pesky computer geeks. While it may not suit your needs anymore there is such a wide spectrum of computer uses out there that your old clunker may be just the thing that people could use to practice his typing or learn basic programming. Whatever the use, if you can find people, your computer will extend its useful life before it meets a shredder in the next phase, which is recycling.

Recycling is the process where used materials are turned into new products (not necessarily the same original ones) so as to minimise environmental impacts such as underground leaching, emission of greenhouse gas through burning and to promote resource conservation. Recycling is a very natural way to reduce environmental pollution and as more people acknowledge the need to preserve the environment nowadays, the need to recycle becomes more of a good alternative. A number of interesting materials can be made from recycling whether it is done at home or elsewhere; for instance, used paper can be recycled to make gift wraps, cards, note books etc which is very educational for young ones thus making them more environmental conscious.

Recycling in Mauritius
The Importance of Recycling for Used ICT & Electronics Equipments

Essential Readings on E-Waste

Recycling in Mauritius
Mauritius Telecom has launched a collection & recycling campaign for old phones and wasted batteries. The aim was to reduce noxious liquid that may be released from the battery and cause harm to the environment for example contaminating the water in Mauritius while other parts of the phone will be recycled.

(Click here for Recycling in Mauritius)

The Importance of Recycling for Used ICT & Electronics Equipments

  • Economic Value
  • Resource Conservation
  • Security

Economic Value
While advances in technology give consumers the availability to upgrade to newer, sleeker and more energy-efficient electronics products, it is important to remember that older electronics units and devices may not have reached the end of their useful life. On average, the original owner keeps a laptop computer for 3-5 years and will discard their cell phone after only 24 months. However, many televisions, computers, monitors, mobile phones and other electronics are still in good working condition and can be recycled, refurbished or donated to schools and charities. There is a vibrant, for-profit secondary market for recent models of laptop computers, desktop computers and cell phones because these products retain significant value. It is important to note that many electronic product parts can be refurbished and reused.

Resource Conservation
It is important to support electronics recycling as a way to conserve valuable resources. Some electronics products contain materials such as lead and mercury, which provide critical and unique safety, performance, reliability and energy efficiency benefits. While the industry proactively develops viable substitutes and manufacturers successfully incorporate these into their products, these materials cannot yet be replaced in all applications.

To protect your privacy, it is recommended that people remove all data from a computer hard drive before donating, selling or recycling a computer or other information storing device. Your computer is filled with personal and financial information and this data should be properly removed in order to protect you from identity theft. It is necessary to wipe any media clean before disposing of it. This includes the hard drive in computers as well as floppies, zip disks, tapes and CD's. There are a number of ways to remove data from your hard drive. The first is the physical destruction of a hard drive, which removes all data but also removes all reuse value. The second method is known as degaussing or the use of a magnetic device to remove data. Verifying data destruction with this method is often very difficult, but can still be effective. The final method is overwriting data