Electronic waste (E-waste): what is it?
This term applies to all consumer and business electronic pieces of equipment that are near or at the end of its useful life. There is no specific definition for electronic waste (e-waste) at this time, but any electronic device containing circuit boards or chips is most likely e-waste. Things which contain heavy metals like cadmium, lead, copper, and chromium that can contaminate the environment.
Electronic waste or e-waste is a term used for electronic products that have become obsolete, and have reached the end of their useful life. As technology is advancing at such a high rate, many electronic devices become “trash” after years of use. In fact, all the categories of old electronic items contribute to e-waste.E-waste is created from anything electronic: computers, TVs, monitors, mobile phones, PDA, VCRs, CD players, fax machines, printers, etc. Obsolete electronic devices are rapidly filling landfills around the globe. Australians are among the highest users of technology, and e-waste is one of the fastest growing types of waste. Of the 15.7 million computers that reached their ‘end of life’ in Australia in 2007-08, only 1.5 million were recycled – that’s less the 10%. (As per Australian bureau of statistics report)
Data destruction is a term which has become increasingly used in today’s modern technological world. Similar to physical possessions, data or information is a crucial aspect of daily modern business, whether publicly or privately operated.
Data is sensitive information that is significant to the business, it may contain proprietary information or may relate directly to members of the public. Failure to fully destroy such data prior to decommissioning of I. T. equipment may inadvertently result in the data entering the public domain. Such inadvertent disclosures may have an adverse impact upon a company or public body, leading to negative media coverage, prosecution, brand damage, loss of revenue and unforeseen internal running costs.
How and when do you dispose of your devices such ascomputers, laptops, hard drives?
Most of us throw it away or at least try to erase the data beforehand. The equipment may not be fit for use anymore but the data saved on our devices are stored even after the trash is emptied. Without proper data wiping or destruction, confidential business information can be easily leaked; this creates a great risk for the business, its reputation and stakeholders such as consumers, employees and shareholders
Global e-waste statistics:
Global e-waste is expected to increase by almost 17% to 52.2 million tonnes in 2021 (Source). The statistics documented by the United Nations University shows that only 20% of e-waste is collected and recycled while the other 80% is unaccounted for, they may be dumped, illegally traded or recycled under uncontrolled conditions. (Source)