Have you ever wondered what happens to all the outdated tech devices that you throw away? When disposed of incorrectly, the old phones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets you’ve replaced contribute to a growing problem: tech waste.
The World Health Organization reports 53.6 million tons of tech waste was generated in 2019. By 2030 it is estimated the annual amount will increase to 74.7 million tons! Tech waste can release hazardous chemicals into the environment, causing air, soil, and water pollution. The report also notes these chemicals, such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, can pose a significant risk to human health, including cancer and neurological damage.
There are safe ways to properly dispose of tech waste, such as donating, selling, recycling, or taking electronic devices to specific drop-off locations for e-waste. The City of Gainesville offers free appointments for large-sized electronic item collection. Smaller items can be dropped off at the Alachua County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center. For campus departments and faculty, students, and staff, UF Property Surplus manages a secure disposal service of electronic media and electronic waste. Contact UF Surplus for service particulars: /https://www.fa.ufl.edu/directives/electronic-media-disposal/.
Let’s work to e-rase our e-waste, Gators!