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16 May 2012

When hi-tech gets junked

We love shiny new gadgets, but when we discard our old tech toys they become gigatonnes of e-waste.

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We love our shiny new gadgets, but when we discard our old tech toys they become gigatonnes of e-waste.

E-waste is electrical and electronic waste, and includes everything from old kitchen appliances to computers and cell phones.

A strong trend of modern living is to stay up to date with the latest gadgetry; there's considerable pressure from advertisers and one's peers to "keep up" with technology.

The result is extremely high turnover of new gadgets, and useful and fun though these may be they add to a vast mountain of waste once we tire of them.

Many of these disused items contain a variety of valuable recyclable materials; they may also contain hazardous materials that require safe disposal.

Keep e-waste out of the waste stream and reduce resource exploitation for new appliance manufacture: find a drop-off point nearest you via the E-Waste Association of South Africa (EWASA). In some cases, you may be able to benefit from e-waste buy-back initiatives.

- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor, Health24, May 2012

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