What to do with old equipment that has served its time: tired, broken, outdated, or has ceased to suit its characteristics? It would seem, what is there to think about: I took the old TV into the trash can – and all the issues are resolved. In fact, not everything is so simple. By law, a significant portion of old electronics must not be thrown away. Let’s figure out how to dispose of it correctly.
What equipment must be disposed of
Look at the packaging of your new equipment, study the case of the device or flip through the instructions. It is quite possible that you will find an icon with a crossed-out container there. Here’s one.
The presence of the icon indicates that the device must not be thrown into a regular trash can. It should be handed over for recycling.
Why can’t you just take your old phone to the trash can? Many will remember that they threw away old TVs , radio tape recorders, and even refrigerators with washing machines. . Yes, they did. But you have to get out of the habit of this.
The fact is that from January 1, 2021, the disposal of electronic and electrical equipment waste, which includes useful components to be disposed of, is prohibited in Russia. This legislative norm is spelled out in clause 8 of article 12 of the Federal Law No. 89-FZ of 24.06.1998 “On production and consumption waste”. A specific list of consumer equipment subject to this law is spelled out in the order of the Government of the Russian Federation dated July 25, 2017 No. 1589-r.
In paragraphs 110-182, there was a place for computers, smartphones , irons , batteries , ATMs, monitors and other equipment. For example, smartphones are listed under number 128. All this, as well as their component parts, up to cables, must be recycled.
Why the question of disposal has arisen
A significant part of consumer electronics is a mass of critical and fairly valuable materials: various precious materials like gold, silver, palladium, as well as non-ferrous metals like copper and aluminum. If disposed of incorrectly, all of this will end up on the landfill and go to waste there, instead of being reused in the manufacture of new equipment. But resources are limited. And if we do not deal with proper disposal now, our descendants will have to look for rare earth metals in the trash heaps.
Secondly, waste electronic equipment is corny increasing the size of landfills. And significantly. In Russia, landfills already occupy an area comparable to the size of Switzerland, and something really needs to be done about this.
Thirdly, despite the fact that household appliances and electronics account for an insignificant part of the total amount of waste, it is this waste that provides a significant part of all toxic substances accumulating at landfills. In technology, although in insignificant quantities, there are lead, cadmium, arsenic, beryllium and other substances that are not the most useful for the body. This is especially true for accumulators and batteries, which end up in landfills in large quantities. The tightness of the nodes and elements containing them is violated, therefore toxic substances poison the environment, and then – living organisms, including humans.
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Therefore, you cannot throw away old equipment. Neither legally nor humanly. You don’t want to leave a polluted planet for your descendants, do you? It is already sufficiently polluted by humanity.
How to dispose of equipment
Old household appliances must be taken for recycling. This is done by special companies equipped with the appropriate equipment for the recovery of harmful components and elements suitable for recycling.
Companies dedicated to the correct disposal of consumer electronics operate in all major cities. There are also large networks covering several regions, such as the Association of SKO Electronics – Utilization. In Moscow, this association includes the Ecopolis Corporation and a number of other large companies, in St. Petersburg – Lel-EKO LLC, Vladivostok – EcoStar Technology LLC, and so on.
The recycling service is usually free of charge. Representatives of the company themselves will come and take away the equipment that needs to be disposed of. Some firms offer small bonuses to consumer electronics retailers, such as inexpensive appliances such as a kettle or iron.
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In a recycling company, the handed over equipment undergoes an examination. It is disassembled, the components to be recycled are removed. Plastic, ferrous and non-ferrous materials are recycled. Components with precious metals are transferred to enterprises that extract and register such materials. Hazardous components are sent to hazardous waste disposal facilities.
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Other ways to get rid of old technology
Disposal in a specialized company is far from the only way to get rid of the equipment that has become unnecessary. Here are a few more ways to get rid of it for the benefit of the business:
Large retail chains, including CSN, regularly hold promotions, within which they provide a discount on new equipment, provided that the buyer hand over the old devices for recycling. If you are going to buy a new smartphone, you can turn in your old device and get a good discount (the amount varies depending on the terms of the promotion).
Electronic waste collection campaigns. For example, “Elektrovesna”, during which volunteers accepted household appliances, accumulators and batteries for disposal. Such actions are held irregularly, you need to follow them on social networks and on the organizer’s websites.
You can extend the life of the equipment and sell it for spare parts or sell it at a low price by placing an advertisement for the sale. If you do not want to wait until there is a buyer, or you are not sure that you will be able to sell at all, you can offer this technique for free. There will almost certainly be someone who needs an old TV or refrigerator for the country, and you will get rid of the old ones and at the same time help someone else.
It turns out that recycling old equipment legally and safely for the environment is somewhat more difficult than just throwing it into a trash can. It will take more effort and time. However, proper disposal can be beneficial to you. At least – morally, and as a maximum – and materially.