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What Happens to Our Discarded E-Waste

This current generation is filled with technology gadgets as we are all moving into the digital world. Many of these gadgets often become outdated, and new ones come up. In most cases, people feel the need to discard the old ones.

Apart from being obsolete, electronic gadgets may break, they may be spoiled, or someone may spill a liquid on them. All of these reasons may force one to get rid of electronic devices. What most of us fail to ask ourselves is what happens to our discarded e-waste?

Well, here is a clear explanation of what happens to your old/spoiled computers and laptops once you throw them away.

Related: How to Get Rid of E-waste from Your Office

Selling/Trading In of Valuable Parts

Your electronic devices come with vital parts, and these are the parts that technology gurus remove when they find disposed of electronics. Let us take, for example, a laptop. When people dispose of spoiled laptops, they do not check which exact parts are not functioning. Most of the time, you will find that it is only the screen that is not working, but the hard drive is intact. The hard drive of a laptop is one of the most expensive parts, as it is crucial in the functioning of the laptop.

When computer geeks get a hold of such a laptop, they find the hard drive and separate it from the main machine. They then go-ahead to sell the hard drive for some cash or trade it in for something else at the electronics store.


Many countries have not fully adopted eco-friendly means of getting rid of e-waste, as many of them dump these spoilt electronic devices in landfills. E-wastes contain various plastic and metallic parts, those that are not retrievable, which take hundreds of years to decompose. What this means is that these materials will stay at the landfills for very long, thereby polluting the environment.

Even without e-wastes, landfills are a significant problem in any country. First and foremost, the landfill trash produces a harmful liquid known as leachate. Leachate is dirty water that contains all the toxic chemicals from all wastes in landfills. Landfills are also breeding grounds for many bacteria that cause disease to not only human beings but also animals. You can see the harmful effects of landfills, and adding e-waste on top makes the situation worse.


Recycling is one of the best ways of discarding e-waste. Recycling prevents the disposal of e-waste into seas, rivers, and in landfills, therefore, preventing our environment from pollution.

There are many ways of recycling e-waste, but first, let us look at the vital components used in making electronic gadgets. Many televisions and laptops contain metallic parts and wires. In TVs, for instance, you will get copper wires. In the older versions of TVs, you will get cathode-ray tubes made of barium and lead. This brings us to one of the ways used to recycle e-waste, and this is by removing the metallic components and smelting them to form something new.

Another impressive way used to recycle TVs is by converting them into flower pots. Doing so adds new life to spoiled TVs that were probably dumped in a landfill somewhere. The process of achieving this is quite simple. The first step done is emptying the inside of the TV and replacing the components with soil. Then the TV is filled with sand leaving, 1/3 of the TV empty so that the plants can peep out at the top. You can also do the same for your spoilt computer monitor.


Incineration is the process of burning an item too fine particles. A considerable percentage of e-waste goes through this process. It may seem like an effective way to get things done, but in real sense comes with more effects than benefits. For instance, fumes produced from this process are harmful to the environment and the human body if inhaled.

The number of electronic waste is increasing every day as newer versions of devices are produced, and some of the old ones get replaced and thrown away. So, where do your outdated and spoiled electronics go? Some of these gadgets are burnt using an incinerator while others are recycled. Speaking of recycling, if you are thinking of doing so and looking for a company to help you, contact Paul’s Rubbish Removal. We remove and dispose of e-waste in an environmentally-friendly way. You can reach us over the phone on 0407 125 125.

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann is a Digital Content Writer for Paul's Rubbish Removal. Sarah is a huge advocate for recycling, environmental sustainability, health and well-being and has a genuine love for all sea animals. Keep up with Sarah by following Paul's Rubbish Removal blog!

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