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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Discuss about the Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment Context.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest and leading waste management system which disposes of the electronic waste in the vast amount is the major environmental issue. The techniques for recycling the electronic waste mainly includes dissolution and burning of harmful acids which have taken no corrective measures to protect the environment and human health. The improper and inappropriate way of disposing of the waste leads to the harmful and dangerous exposures. According to the report of the U.S University, around 50 million metric tons of electronic waste is generated and disposes of worldwide in 2018. As per the statistics of Canada, people generated approximately 725 kilotons of electronic waste in 2014, and it is expected to increase by 800 kilotons in 2018. British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta are one of the leading contributors to the increasing electronic waste in Canada. The development of innovative equipment’s and technologies shortens the lifespan of the electronic gadgets which put them in the waste stream which contributed badly for human health and environment. This project will exemplify the overall idea of what type of research and in what way should be conducted along with the appropriate methodologies, paradigms, and methods to be used in the future.

The introduction part will describe the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and its contribution to saving the humans and environment. It will also analyze the various techniques to recycle the electronic waste and how it impacts the human life. A gap analysis will be analyzed to know how it is important to conduct this research. The Problem statement will elaborate the

Understanding to know how electronic affecting the environment and human health. The research plan will also be added along with the research aim and research question to go into details.

Electronic waste is also known as e-waste which has become the toxic legacy of the digital lovers. Nowadays, people are very fond of electronic gadgets in any form. According to the reports , every individual have two to three type of the electronic item for the personal use which are causing lot of problems to the human health and environment. With an increasing technology advancement, people demands new technology where the old gadgets become obsolete more quickly. The number of sales is increasing day by day which means the number of obsolete gadget are also increasing as people are fond of having new technology when a company launches it. The electronic gadgets are highly available in affordable prices and for all classes of people. The electronic item cannot be recycled easily and it’s not like recycling a plastic. The physical designs of them and the material used to manufacture the electronic item makes the process of recycling quite difficult and complicated. The electronic items contains between 5 pounds to 8 pounds lead in their body which is a serious matter concern to protect the society. Most of the TVs and flat panel monitors could be recycled but they contain more mercury in their mercury lamps as compare to the lead. It is to be believed that around 35% of the highly heavy metal which includes cadmium, mercury, lead which mostly goes for the landfills as they have less capability for the effective recycling process. The harmful chemical in them reach into the ground water and water streams and even the burning of the e-waste releases the toxin chemicals like dioxin. The toxic chemicals create the horrific living conditions for the people, poisoning the people, air, land, and water. According to the reports, U.S has been collaborating with the Canada and Mexico to successfully promote the constructing capacity for the environment friendly sound e-waste management system. Even, the EPA-led electronics task force has been contributing enough to propagate the awareness on the electronic waste and help the countries where the electronic waste of U.S exported. The buyers of the electronic products as they have more power and capability to purchase the electronic items and contributed highly to the environmental complexities. Due to the money power, people more likely to find the substitute of the electronic items endeavor with latest technology and the older electronic items generally become e-waste. When we retire our electronic items we generally have four options to perform like donate it, recycle it, return it to the company or throw in the bin. The most probably, people usually throw it to save themselves for the complex situation and high efforts. Many NGOs are working to collect the electronic waste to donate to the needy ones or sent to the recycle head to protect the society and environment. Many companies have adopted green initiatives to reduce the harmful effects associated with the electronic waste. Apple has been contributing enough and perform highly documented and notable  efforts to reduce the amount of carbon footprints in their electronic devices to protect the society along with this the company also hires the suppliers who use less carbon to make electronic items.

Techniques for Recycling Electronic Waste

It is very crucial to conduct the research for spreading the awareness on the management of electronic waste and appropriate solution to protect the human health and environment. In the era of digitalization, it is very obvious that people are more likely to spend time with their electronic gadgets rather than anything. Everything is available online with can only be available to an individual if the person has electronic gadgets. The major source of electronic waste in U.K is Refrigerators and batteries, semiconductor and chip resistors, air conditioners and microwave, and mobiles. This is true that people are very fond of having different types of electronic items with them for personal use but nowadays people are very educated and highly conscious for the health so, government must try to spread the awareness to protect the environment and health of the people (Katz & Kahn, 1978). The harmful chemicals which are generally used for the manufacturing of the electronic items are printed board assemblies, mercury relays and switches, and capacitors. The use of electronic items is highly increasing worldwide due to the digitalization and modernization of the standard of the life. There is no such effective waste management system which resulted in the high amount of the electronic waste. It is very crucial to identify the effective disposable and recycling technique to decrease the health hazards and environment pollution. There are three effective technique reduce the electronic waste from the environment, i.e. landfilling, recycling and incineration. Landfilling is the most widely used method to reduce the e-waste and disposal of the e-waste. The hazardous chemical from the soil can mix in the ground water that may go in the ponds and sea which makes life of aquatic animals quite difficult. Incineration is the complete and controlled process related to the combustion of the electronic waste under which the e-waste has been heated under the high degree of temperature. There is a high risk associated with it as the fumes mixes in the air which is harmful for the health of the humans around it. This process successfully lessens the harmful effects of the e-waste and makes it to the minimum level. Recycling is a process of the eradication of the various parts of the e-waste that releases the harmful substances like separation of plastic material, PCB, separation of non-ferrous and ferrous material, floppy drives, and hard disk. It is very to look for the various alternatives to protect the society. Reducing the amount of e-waste will help to use as the raw material of the different devices along with also help in reducing the amount of energy people take for manufacture the device. People can contribute in reducing the e-waste by following ways:

  • People must ask themselves if they really need another gadget. Instead of purchasing different devices, they may go for a gadget which has multiple effective functions.
  • People must try to keep their gadgets clean and safe to extend the lifespan of the electronic items.
  • People may donate the used electronics items to needy ones.
  • People may purchase the environment-friendly products which have certified stars to reduce the e-waste.

Electrical Waste: A Growing Problem

Nowadays, e-waste has become a vulnerable issue to be recognized before it opens its feather and started affected the environment and human health badly. Today, in the era of digitalization, people are fond of having electronic gadgets, they didn’t even think twice before purchasing any electronic gadget. The e-waste is causing many hazardous impacts on the health of the humans. Mostly children suffered from e-waste exposure and they are highly vulnerable to health issues which need protection. The e-waste in many form mixes with water, air, food which affects the children stamina that is generally weak. The toxic chemicals goes in the food may highly increase or decrease the weight of the people who got affected with it along with this the major risk of chemical absorption is largely associated with the children’s. It mainly affects the reproductive system, digestive system, immune system and central nervous system. Children’s are often play outside which is highly vulnerable to the health issues like breathing, digestive and many related issues. It is to be believed that pregnant women’s who come in direct or indirect contact with the recycling bodies have shown a heavy burden on their body with physiologic deposits which is generally associated with the adipose and bones tissues. The developing child may get infected and may occur serious health problems which are a matter of concern. Neurodevelopmental deficits are one of the major issues when examining the major exposure to health in the children living around these e-waste recycling communities. Environmental scientist, engineers and others professionals are contributing to reduce the e-waste by spreading awareness and identifying effective and efficient techniques to reduce its exposure. Now, it is the high time to make the people aware that how the use of electronic device is killing or ruining the society from its roots (Katz & Kahn, 1978).

Aim: The aim of the research is to identify the effects of the electronic waste on the human health and environment. It will generally describe the health issues and other harmful effects associated with the electronic waste. It will also consider the WEEE perspective to identify the situation in detail. The major focus of the report is on the effective strategies and techniques to reduce the electronic waste and spreads the awareness to achieve the desired goals.

There are two methods to use the information for conducting the well-planned research, i.e. primary sources and secondary sources. For conducting this research, it will be beneficial to go with the both sources which is primary sources and secondary sources because many research have been already attempted to identify the impact of the electronic waste on the environment and human health. To conduct a research, it is very crucial to use both kinds of source to generate effective data to being productive outcomes. Primary source of data is written by some experts that experienced him by interviewing or witnessed in that particular situation. The original sources related to the primary data are letters, diaries, journals, articles, manuscripts and speeches. Secondary source is interpreting or draw the conclusions regarding the major event reported in primary source. To conduct a research on identifying the impact of the electronic waste on the environment and human health, it is very significant to find the relevant newspaper of the recent five years to know the exact and authentic consequences happens with the higher exposure to the electronic waste. The authorities or the people who are conducting this research have various alternatives to deal with this hazardous issue. The relevant newspaper, articles, journals and blogs may help in determining the situation. It is very important to know the number of electronic gadgets with the people and identify why people purchase the electronic items frequently as compare to the other types of the items. The researcher may opt to the meet the representatives or heads of the electronic waste management system to know the current situation and methodologies used for the electronic waste management or know about many documents for the success of the research.  The interview will help to know the important information related to the electronic waste management system along with the appropriate remedies or steps taken to reduce or eradicate the issue. To conduct a well-defined research or to make a research successful, it generally depends upon the authenticity and worthiness of the source of information. Senior researchers advises that to conduct a successful research, it is very important to identify the authenticity of the source of information like where it is publisher, who is the publisher, date, author of the particular journal or article (Katz & Kahn, 1978).

Environmental Impact of Electronic Waste

The characteristics of the research should be considered appropriately as it relates the researcher to the research. For the success of any research, it is crucial to conduct the research which can be easily measurable. Today, there are many methods or instruments are available to measure the data of the research to understand it properly. It is very important to know if the specific instruments measure the research problem properly or not. It is believed that research if going without validity may go in the wrong direction or May not able to accomplish the desired results. The tools used for the research method are accurate and appropriate to analyze the research problem.

The research conducted to analyze the impact of e-waste on the environment and human health has faced some limitation. The data is not sufficient for the success of the research as some data related to the how an individual can live without the electronic items in the era of digitalization. The resource has only focus to which extent e-waste can impact negatively the society as a whole. The variable related to the fact that it is somehow possible for the people to be without the electronic gadgets as everything is available online even the proceedings related to the government is online so, how it would make possible to lessen the use of electronic items. But the research can be procced even the limitation was present because it is quite significant to research this specified concern (Pérez-BeliS & Bovea & Ibáñez-Forés, 2015)

The research will be very beneficial for the environment and health of the people. The quality of the research depends upon that how people are affected by the electronic waste along with identifying an appropriate solution for it. The research will help us to identify and scrutinize the various alternatives which not only save the environment and people health but also provides greater raw material for the manufacturing process of many electronic devices. According to the reports that people have generally thrown their used devices rather than submitting them to the respective company as the used device have several parts which can be finished and used as raw material for the further manufacturing process. There is precious material found in the e-waste which should be utilized instead of throwing in the bin which resulted in bad environmental conditions. The research is very important as the harmful chemical released from the electronic items is ruining our lives along with the adverse effects will lead to the ocean dump, mineral mining, landfill, and crimes related to pollution. So, the increased recycling, the electronic and electrical based manufacturing cab be proved to highly sustainable by minimizing the hunt for fresh and repetitive raw materials (Bisschop, 2012).

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Effective Strategies

There are two types of methods available to conduct the research which is the quantitative method and qualitative method. Quantitative method is mainly related to the structured interviews, surveys, observations, and reviews of documents or records from the information related to the numbers. Qualitative methods mainly include in-depth interviews, focus groups and documents based on the specific issue or research problem. To conduct this research, the quantitative method has been employed. The quantitative method is that type of method which less number of the interviews, questionnaire, observations, case studies and subject group but it mainly focuses on the collection and analysis of the numerical data for conducting research. For the research, the number of data related to the specific research has been used to bring the maximum possible outcomes. So, it is very crucial to choose the realistic and appropriate method for the research as the outcomes of the research will mainly depend upon the chosen method. To perform this research, the researcher may contact the companies who are working on e-waste management or the people who are also collaborating to reduce the impact of the e-waste for the environment and health of the people worldwide (Schroeder, 2013). The data can also be collected by conducting a personal interview with the head of the e-waste management system body to go deeply in detail and better understand the effects related to it appropriately. It is very important to analyze the impact of the e-waste to protect the health of the people which is slowly ruined by the harmful chemicals released by the heavy electronic items. The information to conduct the research can be taken by reviewing articles, interviewing a representative of the electronic waste management system, which has worked or contribute little a bit to reduce the electronic waste.

The target population for conducting this research is the people who have at least one or two devices with them in which one is of no use that may lead to e-waste. According to this research, the impact of the e-waste is ruining the health of the people so; it gets important to propagate the relative information to reduce the complexities.

For this research methodology and reducing the e-waste worldwide, sampling is considered as the best tool for the selection of a group of an individual within the specific population related to the statistics to find the why e-waste is continuously rising and there is no positive expectation that it will reduce to the optimum level. Each head related to the e-waste management or a common person will be measured on certain factors to proceed and carry out with the concerned research. The methodology related to the sampling to establish this research is systematically sampling which consists of various individuals who use electronic gadgets and are more likely to purchase in coming time (Von Bertalanffy, 1969).

The Role of Government and NGOs

The objective of the study is to analyze the impact of the electronic waste which adversely affects the environment and health of the people which mainly includes old-age person and children’s. A positive and appropriate outcome has been expected out of this research. Therefore the dependent variable will be no harmful effects or a reduction in the electronic waste along with the independent variable will be re-used or recycle the electronic waste or donate it to the needy persons (Park, 2017). The analysis is very crucial to determine and examine the reality of the specific idea related to the research. It is significant to analyze the impact of the electronic waste so that major and serious could be taken to minimize the complexities and harmful effects related to the research. The research of this research problem will be based on the quantitative approach. To conduct the successful research, the reliable and measurable data has been collected from various sources which include organizations, common people, representatives, and many more. Various questions will be formed to ask the common people to bring better result. Both monetary protocol and non-monetary protocol will be employed that provides the superior power affects the technical usage of the group objectives (Balde & Wang & Huisman & Kuehr, 2015).

By reviewing various relevant articles and journals, it is to be believed that this research is very essential for the society as it is destroying the environmental condition and creating many health issues. It is very crucial for the people to think upon this matter before it takes the place of serious and vulnerable situation. The e-waste should be reduced to the optimum level and recycled so that it may utilize as a productive raw material for the further manufacturing of the electronic devices. Today, in the world of digitalization, whatever the person is needed available online for which they don't have to move into the crowded places. So the involvement and continuous increment of the electronic gadgets and items resulted in the electronic waste which is slow poison for the people around the globe. The research should include the awareness policies to aware the people what tactics or techniques should be used to reduce the harmful effects to the optimum level (Schroeder, 2013).

The research will benefit the society and environment by spreading as much awareness about the how e-waste is increasing at the faster rate and how it could be reduced to protect the environment and health of the people. The end users will be both society and the representatives as they are also the member of this society. The e-waste generally goes for the landfill which mixes with the ground waters mixes with the soil that infects the agriculture which goes inside the body with the food we eat, it is mostly the children’s and old age people who cannot much tolerate the effects from it because of their low stamina. The reduced electronic waste will help in reducing the risk associated with it. According to the U.S reports, collaborators are working enough to control the electronic waste by re-using it as raw material or sent for the recycle purpose. Recycling and Re-using is very effective techniques to slow the effects related to the electronic waste. It is to be believed that companies will launch the awareness campaigns for the users of their electronic devices that when they done with the device, they could give back to them so that it could not go in waste and used as the raw material for the manufacturing of the further devices. The respective companies can give their customer some vouchers or anything in return to persuade and attract the customers to give back the device when they completely did with that or want to throw it in the bin.

Impact of Electronic Waste on Human Health

Conclusion

The project discussed the impact of e-waste on the environmental condition and health of the people. It helps to understand the issues related to the electronic waste and why it is continuously increasing over the years.  The electronic waste is ruining the environmental conditions and creates many health disorders which should be resolved as soon as possible. With increasing technological advancement, people demand new technology where the old gadgets become obsolete more quickly. The harmful chemical in them reach into the groundwater, and water streams and even the burning of the e-waste releases the toxin chemicals like dioxin. The toxic chemicals create the horrific living conditions for the people, poisoning the people, air, land, and water. Many companies have adopted green initiatives to reduce the harmful effects associated with the electronic waste. The authorities or the people who are conducting this research have various alternatives to deal with this hazardous issue. The relevant newspaper, articles, journals and blogs may help in determining the situation. To conduct the successful research, the reliable and measurable data has been collected from various sources which include organizations, common people, representatives, and many more. Various questions will be formed to ask the common people to bring better result.

References

Balde, K.; Wang, F.; Huisman, J.; Kuehr, R. The Global E-Waste Monitor; United Nations University: Bonn, Germany, 2015.

Bisschop, L. (2012). Is it all going to waste? Illegal transports of e-waste in a European trade hub. Crime, law and social change, 58(3), 221-249.

Morrissey, A., & Browne, J. (2014). Waste management models and their application to sustainable waste management. Waste Management, 24(3), 297-308. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2003.09.005

 Namias, J. The Future of Electronic Waste Recycling in the United States: Obstacles and Domestic Solutions; Columbia University: New York, NY, USA, 2013.

Park, j. (2017). Effects of Electronic Waste on Developing Countries. Advances In Recycling & Waste Management, 02(02), 56-78. doi: 10.4172/2475-7675.1000128

StEP Initiative. One Global Definition of E-Waste; StEP Initiative: Bonn, Germany, 2014.

Schroeder, H. E-Waste Management in Canada; Environment Canada: Fredericton, NB, Canada, 2013.

 Kumar, A.; Holuszko, M. Electronic Waste and Existing Processing Routes: A Canadian Perspective. Resources 2016, 5, 35.

 Auditor General of Canada. (2008). December Report Chapter 8 –Reporting on Health

  Indicators – Health Canada.

 Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia. (2003).Performance Reporting

 Principles for the British Columbia Public Sector.

 Province of B.C. and the Office of the Auditor General of B.C. (2003).Performance

 Reporting Principles for the British Columbia Public Sector. p. 16.

Von Bertalanffy, L. (1969). General systems theory and psychiatry—an overview. General

systems theory and psychiatry, 33-46.

Katz, D., & Kahn, R. L. (1978). Organizations and the system concept. Classics of organization theory, 161-172.

Pérez-Belis, V., Bovea, M. D., & Ibáñez-Forés, V. (2015). An in-depth literature review of the waste electrical and electronic equipment context: Trends and evolution. Waste Management & Research, 33(1), 3-29

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