Why is Electronic Waste a Growing Concern in Today's Environment?

Posted  February 16, 2021  by  Jenny Green

Above view of inside a hard drive
Why is Electronic Waste (E-Waste) a Growing Concern in Today's Environment?

In recent years, the global market of electrical and electronic equipment has grown exponentially. But with this comes a rise in e waste – and toxic chemicals, such as lead, cadmium and mercury – which presents a serious problem for the environment.
Australians are among the highest users of technology and e-waste is one of the fastest growing types of waste. In 2019, a record 53.6 million metric tonnes of e-waste was reportedly generated around the world, according to the Global E-waste Monitor 2020.
By 2030, the report predicts this will reach 74 million metric tonnes – almost double the figure of 2014 – owing to higher electric and electronic consumption rates, shorter lifecycles and limited repair options.
In a bid to combat this, businesses are being asked to recycle more or dispose of e-waste responsibly. But many organisations are unsure exactly how best to go about this and too much electronic waste is still making its way into landfill. In fact, fewer than 1% of TVs and around 10% of PCs and laptops are recycled across Australia.
This, combined with the fact that hard drives and other forms of e-waste are not securely destroyed and recycled only presents more problems for businesses, with a growing number of data breaches arising when electronic equipment falls into the wrong hands.
Fortunately, Shred-it’s expert services will assist in ensuring that the data contained within electronic waste is securely destroyed, keeping you compliant with privacy regulations. Furthermore, we work with approved partners to recycle electronic waste wherever possible, helping you reduce your carbon footprint.

What is e-waste and what is its global significance?

Simply put, e-waste is electronic waste, which can be anything from an old hard drive to a TV. But although the definition of e-waste is pretty broad, the toxic materials it contains, such as lead, mercury, cadmium and beryllium, is a real concern. Discarding old appliances or office equipment in the standard rubbish doesn’t prevent these toxic materials from entering the ecosystem.
In Australia, e-waste recycling services are provided across metropolitan, regional and remote Australia as part of the Australian Government’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.
However, this becomes more challenging for businesses of all shapes and sizes, who potentially have to get rid of a mountain of disused technology every single year – especially when factoring security and environmental impact into the equation.

How can Shred-it help businesses with electronic waste disposal?

Before throwing anything in the rubbish, stop and have a think: can you repair it or recycle it?
For businesses in need of office space, however, this may not be an option. So, if this is the case, be sure to partner with a trusted destruction specialist like Shred-it. Our media destruction services ensure your electronic waste is securely destroyed and then recycled with trusted partners, to help you de-clutter your office, safe in the knowledge that you’re reducing your carbon footprint.
But beyond just helping you help the planet, our services also guarantee optimum security throughout the destruction process. From the moment we securely pick up your e-waste, we apply the same state-of-the-art chain of custody protocols for media destruction as we do for document destruction, ensuring your sensitive data remains out of the clutches of data thieves.
Shred-it achieves this with a process that incorporates tamper-proof containers, locked trucks to keep e-waste safe in transit and secure, monitored facilities, where the destruction takes place. But of course, we also understand that different businesses have different demands, so our services can also be booked on a one-off or regularly scheduled basis.
Once complete, you’ll also receive a certificate of destruction confirming that your e-waste has been securely destroyed and recycled. But more than just a certificate, this is your audit trail to prove that your business is compliant with environmental bodies and the regulations outlined by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

Protect your business and our planet with Shred-it Australia

It’s more important than ever to protect the personal data of your customers and the wellbeing of our environment.
Shred-it protects what matters – and what matters to us is the security of your business and the conservation of our environment.
Get in touch today for a no-obligation quote, for electronic waste disposal services tailored to the needs of your business.
This article is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not take, or refrain from taking, actions based upon the content of this article. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Please seek professional legal advice.

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