Electronic waste, e-waste, e-scrap, or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. There is a lack of consensus as to whetherthe term should apply to resale, reuse, and refurbishing industries, or only to product that cannotbe used for its intended purpose. Informal processing of electronic waste in developing countriesmay cause serious health and pollution problems, though these countries are also most likely toreuse and repair electronics. Some electronic scrap components, such as CRTs, may containcontaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants. Even indeveloped countries recycling and disposal of e-waste may involve significant risk to workersand communities and great care must be taken to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operationsand leaching of material such as heavy metals from landfills and incinerator ashes. Scrapindustry and USA EPA officials agree that materials should be managed with caution, but manybelieve that environmental dangers of used electronics have been exaggerated. Problems Rapid changes in technology, changes in media (tapes, software, MP3), falling prices, and planned obsolescence have resulted in a fast-growing surplus of electronic waste around the globe. Dave Kruch, CEO of Cash For Laptops, regards electronic waste as a "rapidly expanding" issue. Technical solutions are available, but in most cases a legal framework, a collection system, logistics, and other services need to be implemented before a technical solution can be applied. Display units (CRT, LCD, LED monitors), Processors (CPU chips, RAM), and audio components have different useful lives. Processors are most frequently outdated (by software) and are more likely to become "e-waste", while display units are most often replaced while working without repair attempts, due to changes in wealthy nation appetites for new display technology. An estimated 50 million tons of E-waste are produced each year. The USA discards 30 million computers each year and 100 million phones are disposed of in Europe each year. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only 15-20% of e-waste is recycled, the rest of these electronics go directly into landfills and incinerators."EPA estimates for 2006-7".. According to a report by UNEP titled, "Recycling - from E-Waste to Resources," the amount of e-waste being produced - including mobile phones and computers - could rise by as much as 500 percent over the next decade in some countries, such as India. The United States is the world leader in producing electronic waste, tossing away about 3 million tons each year. China already produces about 2.3 million tons (2010 estimate) domestically, second only to the United States. And, despite having banned e-waste imports, China remains a major e-waste dumping ground for developed countries. Electrical waste contains hazardous but also valuable and scarce materials. Up to 60 elements can be found in complex electronics. In the United States, an estimated 70% of heavy metals in landfills comes from discarded electronics.
While there is agreement that the number of discarded electronic devices is increasing,there is considerable disagreement about the relative risk (compared to automobile scrap,for example), and strong disagreement whether curtailing trade in used electronics willimprove conditions, or make them worse. According to an article in Motherboard,attempts to restrict the trade have driven reputable companies out of the supply chain, withunintended consequences.Global trade issuesOne theory is that increased regulation of electronic waste and concern over theenvironmental harm in mature economies creates an economic disincentive to removeresidues prior to export. Critics of trade in used electronics maintain that it is too easy forbrokers calling themselves recyclers to export unscreened electronic waste to developingcountries, such as China, India and parts of Africa, thus avoiding the expense of removingitems like bad cathode ray tubes (the processing of which is expensive and difficult). Thedeveloping countries are becoming big dump yards of e-waste. Proponents of internationaltrade point to the success of fair trade programs in other industries, where cooperation hasled creation of sustainable jobs, and can bring affordable technology in countries whererepair and reuse rates are higher.Defenders of the trade in used electronics say that extraction of metals from virgin mininghas also been shifted to developing countries. Hard-rock mining of copper, silver, goldand other materials extracted from electronics is considered far more environmentallydamaging than the recycling of those materials. They also state that repair and reuse ofcomputers and televisions has become a "lost art" in wealthier nations, and thatrefurbishing has traditionally been a path to development. South Korea, Taiwan, andsouthern China all excelled in finding "retained value" in used goods, and in some caseshave set up billion-dollar industries in refurbishing used ink cartridges, single-usecameras, and working CRTs. Refurbishing has traditionally been a threat to establishedmanufacturing, and simple protectionism explains some criticism of the trade. Works like"The Waste Makers" by Vance Packard explain some of the criticism of exports ofworking product, for example the ban on import of tested working Pentium 4 laptops toChina, or the bans on export of used surplus working electronics by Japan.Opponents of surplus electronics exports argue that lower environmental and laborstandards, cheap labor, and the relatively high value of recovered raw materials leads to atransfer of pollution-generating activities, such as burning of copper wire. In China,Malaysia, India, Kenya, and various African countries, electronic waste is being sent tothese countries for processing, sometimes illegally. Many surplus laptops are routed todeveloping nations as "dumping grounds for e-waste". Because the United States has notratified the Basel Convention or its Ban Amendment, and has no domestic laws forbiddingthe export of toxic waste, the Basel Action Network estimates that about 80% of theelectronic waste directed to recycling in the U.S. does not get recycled there at all, but isput on container ships and sent to countries such as China. This figure is disputed as an
exaggeration by the EPA, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, and the World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association. Independent research by Arizona State University showed that 87-88% of imported used computers did not have a higher value than the best value of the constituent materials they contained, and that "the official trade in end-of-life computers is thus driven by reuse as opposed to recycling". Guiyu in the Shantou region of China, Delhi and Bangalore in India as well as the Agbogbloshie site near Accra, Ghana have electronic waste processing areas. Uncontrolled burning, disassembly, and disposal causes a variety of environmental problems such as groundwater contamination, atmospheric pollution, or even water pollution either by immediate discharge or due to surface runoff (especially near coastal areas), as well as health problems including occupational safety and health effects among those directly and indirectly involved, due to the methods of processing the waste. Thousands of men, women, and children are employed in highly polluting, primitive recycling technologies, extracting the metals, toners, and plastics from computers and other electronic waste. Recent studies show that 7 out of 10 children in this region have too much lead in their blood. Proponents of the trade say growth of internet access is a stronger correlation to trade than poverty. Haiti is poor and closer to the port of New York than southeast Asia, but far more electronic waste is exported from New York to Asia than to Haiti. Thousands of men, women, and children are employed in reuse, refurbishing, repair, and remanufacturing, unsustainable industries in decline in developed countries. Denying developing nations access to used electronics may deny them sustainable employment, affordable products, and internet access, or force them to deal with even less scrupulous suppliers. In a series of seven articles for The Atlantic, Shanghai-based reporter Adam Minter describes many of these computer repair and scrap separation activities as objectively sustainable. Opponents of the trade argue that developing countries utilize methods that are more harmful and more wasteful. An expedient and prevalent method is simply to toss equipment onto an open fire, in order to melt plastics and to burn away unvaluable metals. This releases carcinogens and neurotoxins into the air, contributing to an acrid, lingering smog. These noxious fumes include dioxins and furans. Bonfire refuse can be disposed of quickly into drainage ditches or waterways feeding the ocean or local water supplies. In June 2008, a container of electronic waste, destined from the Port of Oakland in the U.S. to Sanshui District in mainland China, was intercepted in Hong Kong by Greenpeace.Concern over exports of electronic waste were raised in press reports in India, Ghana, Ivory Coastand Nigeria.Ewaste managementRecycling
Today the electronic waste recycling business is in all areas of the developed world a large andrapidly consolidating business. Part of this evolution has involved greater diversion of electronicwaste from energy-intensive downcycling processes (e.g., conventional recycling), whereequipment is reverted to a raw material form. This diversion is achieved through reuse andrefurbishing. The environmental and social benefits of reuse include diminished demand for newproducts and virgin raw materials (with their own environmental issues); larger quantities of purewater and electricity for associated manufacturing; less packaging per unit; availability oftechnology to wider swaths of society due to greater affordability of products; and diminisheduse of landfills.Audiovisual components, televisions, VCRs, stereo equipment, mobile phones, other handhelddevices, and computer components contain valuable elements and substances suitable forreclamation, including lead, copper, and gold.One of the major challenges is recycling the printed circuit boards from the electronic wastes.The circuit boards contain such precious metals as gold, silver, platinum, etc. and such basemetals as copper, iron, aluminum, etc. Conventional method employed is mechanical shreddingand separation but the recycling efficiency is low. Alternative methods such as cryogenicdecomposition have been studied for printed circuit board recycling, and some other methods arestill under investigation.n developed countries, electronic waste processing usually first involves dismantling theequipment into various parts (metal frames, power supplies, circuit boards, plastics), often byhand, but increasingly by automated shredding equipment. A typical example is the NADINelectronic waste processing plant in Novi Iskar, Bulgaria -- the largest facility of its kind inEastern Europe. The advantages of this process are the humans ability to recognize and saveworking and repairable parts, including chips, transistors, RAM, etc. The disadvantage is that thelabor is cheapest in countries with the lowest health and safety standards.In an alternative bulk system, a hopper conveys material for shredding into an unsophisticatedmechanical separator, with screening and granulating machines to separate constituent metal andplastic fractions, which are sold to smelters or plastics recyclers. Such recycling machinery isenclosed and employs a dust collection system. Some of the emissions are caught by scrubbersand screens. Magnets, eddy currents, and trommel screens are employed to separate glass,plastic, and ferrous and nonferrous metals, which can then be further separated at a smelter.Leaded glass from CRTs is reused in car batteries, ammunition, and lead wheel weights, or soldto foundries as a fluxing agent in processing raw lead ore. Copper, gold, palladium, silver and tinare valuable metals sold to smelters for recycling. Hazardous smoke and gases are captured,contained and treated to mitigate environmental threat. These methods allow for safe reclamationof all valuable computer construction materials. Hewlett-Packard product recycling solutionsmanager Renee St. Denis describes its process as: "We move them through giant shredders about30 feet tall and it shreds everything into pieces about the size of a quarter. Once your disk driveis shredded into pieces about this big, its hard to get the data off".An ideal electronic waste recycling plant combines dismantling for component recovery withincreased cost-effective processing of bulk electronic waste.
Reuse is an alternative option to recycling because it extends the lifespan of a device. Devicesstill need eventual recycling, but by allowing others to purchase used electronics, recycling canbe postponed and value gained from device use.Benefits of recyclingRecycling raw materials from end-of-life electronics is the most effective solution to the growinge-waste problem. Most electronic devices contain a variety of materials, including metals thatcan be recovered for future uses. By dismantling and providing reuse possibilities, intact naturalresources are conserved and air and water pollution caused by hazardous disposal is avoided.Additionally, recycling reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by themanufacturing of new products. It simply makes good sense and is efficient to recycle and to doour part to keep the environment green.Electronic waste substancesSeveral sizes of button and coin cell with 2 9v batteries as a size comparison. They are allrecycled in many countries since they contain lead, mercury and cadmium.Some computer components can be reused in assembling new computer products, while othersare reduced to metals that can be reused in applications as varied as construction, flatware, andjewelry.Substances found in large quantities include epoxy resins, fiberglass, PCBs, PVC (polyvinylchlorides), thermosetting plastics, lead, tin, copper, silicon, beryllium, carbon, iron andaluminium.Elements found in small amounts include cadmium, mercury, and thallium.Elements found in trace amounts include americium, antimony, arsenic, barium, bismuth, boron,cobalt, europium, gallium, germanium, gold, indium, lithium, manganese, nickel, niobium,palladium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, selenium, silver, tantalum, terbium, thorium, titanium,vanadium, and yttrium.Almost all electronics contain lead and tin (as solder) and copper (as wire and printed circuitboard tracks), though the use of lead-free solder is now spreading rapidly.EFFECTS ON ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN HEALTH
Disposal of e-wastes is a particular problem faced in many regions across the globe. Computerwastes that are landfilled produces contaminated leachates which eventually pollute thegroundwater. Acids and sludge obtained from melting computer chips, if disposed on the groundcauses acidification of soil. For example, Guiyu, Hong Kong a thriving area of illegal e-wasterecycling is facing acute water shortages due to the contamination of water resources.This is due to disposal of recycling wastes such as acids, sludges etc. in rivers. Now water isbeing transported from faraway towns to cater to the demands of the population. Incineration ofe-wastes can emit toxic fumes and gases, thereby polluting the surrounding air. Improperlymonitored landfills can cause environmental hazards. Mercury will leach when certain electronicdevices, such as circuit breakers are destroyed. The same is true for polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs) from condensers. When brominated flame retardant plastic or cadmium containingplastics are landfilled, both polybrominated dlphenyl ethers (PBDE) and cadmium may leachinto the soil and groundwater. It has been found that significant amounts of lead ion aredissolved from broken lead containing glass, such as the cone glass of cathode ray tubes, getsmixed with acid waters and are a common occurrence in landfills.Not only does the leaching of mercury poses specific problems, the vaporization of metallicmercury and dimethylene mercury, both part of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment(WEEE) is also of concern. In addition, uncontrolled fires may arise at landfills and this could bea frequent occurrence in many countries. When exposed to fire, metals and other chemicalsubstances, such as the extremely toxic dioxins and furans (TCDD tetrachloro dibenzo-dioxin,PCDDs-polychlorinated dibenzodioxins. PBDDs-polybrominated dibenzo-dioxin and PCDFs-poly chlorinated dibenzo furans) from halogenated flame retardant products and PCB containingcondensers can be emitted. The most dangerous form of burning e-waste is the open-air burningof plastics in order to recover copper and other metals. The toxic fall-out from open air burningaffects both the local environment and broader global air currents, depositing highly toxic byproducts in many places throughout the world.Table I summarizes the health effects of certain constituents in e-wastes. If these electronic itemsare discarded with other household garbage, the toxics pose a threat to both health and vitalcomponents of the ecosystem. In view of the ill-effects of hazardous wastes to both environmentand health, several countries exhorted the need for a global agreement to address the problemsand challenges posed by hazardous waste. Also, in the late 1980s, a tightening of environmentalregulations in industrialized countries led to a dramatic rise in the cost of hazardous wastedisposal. Searching for cheaper ways to get rid of the wastes, "toxic traders" began shippinghazardous waste to developing countries. International outrage following these irresponsibleactivities led to the drafting and adoption of strategic plans and regulations at the BaselConvention. The Convention secretariat, in Geneva, Switzerland, facilitates and implementationof the Convention and related agreements. It also provides assistance and guidelines on legal andtechnical issues, gathers statistical data, and conducts training on the proper management ofhazardous waste.Source of e-wastesConstituent
Health effectsSolder in printed circuit boards, glass panels and gaskets in computer monitorsLead (PB) Damage to central and peripheral nervous systems, blood systems and kidney damage. Affects brain development of children.Chip resistors and semiconductorsCadmium (CD) Toxic irreversible effects on human health. Accumulates in kidney and liver. Causes neural damage. Teratogenic.Relays and switches, printed circuit boardsMercury (Hg) Chronic damage to the brain. Respiratory and skin disorders due to bioaccumulation in fishes.Corrosion protection of untreated and galvanized steel plates, decorator or hardner for steelhousingsHexavalent chromium (Cr) VI Asthmatic bronchitis. DNA damage.Cabling and computer housingPlastics including PVCBurning produces dioxin. It causes Reproductive and developmental problems; Immune system damage; Interfere with regulatory hormonesPlastic housing of electronic equipments and circuit boards.Brominated flame retardants (BFR)
Disrupts endocrine system functionsFront panel of CRTsBarium (Ba)Short term exposure causes: Muscle weakness; Damage to heart, liver and spleen.MotherboardBeryllium (Be) Carcinogenic (lung cancer) Inhalation of fumes and dust. Causes chronic beryllium disease or beryllicosis. Skin diseases such as warts.MANAGEMENT OF E-WASTESIt is estimated that 75% of electronic items are stored due to uncertainty of how to manage it.These electronic junks lie unattended in houses, offices, warehouses etc. and normally mixedwith household wastes, which are finally disposed off at landfills. This necessitatesimplementable management measures.In industries management of e-waste should begin at the point of generation. This can be done bywaste minimization techniques and by sustainable product design. Waste minimization inindustries involves adopting: inventory management, production-process modification, volume reduction, recovery and reuse.Inventory managementProper control over the materials used in the manufacturing process is an important way toreduce waste generation (Freeman, 1989). By reducing both the quantity of hazardous materialsused in the process and the amount of excess raw materials in stock, the quantity of wastegenerated can be reduced. This can be done in two ways i.e. establishing material-purchasereview and control procedures and inventory tracking system.Developing review procedures for all material purchased is the first step in establishing aninventory management program. Procedures should require that all materials be approved prior
to purchase. In the approval process all production materials are evaluated to examine if theycontain hazardous constituents and whether alternative non-hazardous materials are available.Another inventory management procedure for waste reduction is to ensure that only the neededquantity of a material is ordered. This will require the establishment of a strict inventory trackingsystem. Purchase procedures must be implemented which ensure that materials are ordered onlyon an as-needed basis and that only the amount needed for a specific period of time is ordered.Production-process modificationChanges can be made in the production process, which will reduce waste generation. Thisreduction can be accomplished by changing the materials used to make the product or by themore efficient use of input materials in the production process or both. Potential wasteminimization techniques can be broken down into three categories:i) Improved operating and maintenance procedures,ii) Material change andiii)Process-equipment modification.Improvements in the operation and maintenance of process equipment can result in significantwaste reduction. This can be accomplished by reviewing current operational procedures or lackof procedures and examination of the production process for ways to improve its efficiency.Instituting standard operation procedures can optimise the use of raw materials in the productionprocess and reduce the potential for materials to be lost through leaks and spills. A strictmaintenance program, which stresses corrective maintenance, can reduce waste generationcaused by equipment failure. An employee-training program is a key element of any wastereduction program. Training should include correct operating and handling procedures, properequipment use, recommended maintenance and inspection schedules, correct process controlspecifications and proper management of waste materials.Hazardous materials used in either a product formulation or a production process may bereplaced with a less hazardous or non-hazardous material. This is a very widely used techniqueand is applicable to most manufacturing processes. Implementation of this waste reductiontechnique may require only some minor process adjustments or it may require extensive newprocess equipment. For example, a circuit board manufacturer can replace solvent-based productwith water-based flux and simultaneously replace solventvapor degreaser with detergent partswasher.Installing more efficient process equipment or modifying existing equipment to take advantageof better production techniques can significantly reduce waste generation. New or updatedequipment can use process materials more efficiently producing less waste. Additionally suchefficiency reduces the number of rejected or off-specification products, thereby reducing theamount of material which has to be reworked or disposed of. Modifying existing processequipment can be a very cost-effective method of reducing waste generation. In many cases the
modification can just be relatively simple changes in the way the materials are handled withinthe process to ensure that they are not wasted. For example, in many electronic manufacturingoperations, which involve coating a product, such as electroplating or painting, chemicals areused to strip off coating from rejected products so that they can be recoated. These chemicals,which can include acids, caustics, cyanides etc are often a hazardous waste and must be properlymanaged. By reducing the number of parts that have to be reworked, the quantity of waste can besignificantly reduced.Volume reductionVolume reduction includes those techniques that remove the hazardous portion of a waste from anon-hazardous portion. These techniques are usually to reduce the volume, and thus the cost ofdisposing of a waste material. The techniques that can be used to reduce waste-stream volumecan be divided into 2 general categories: source segregation and waste concentration.Segregation of wastes is in many cases a simple and economical technique for waste reduction.Wastes containing different types of metals can be treated separately so that the metal value inthe sludge can be recovered. Concentration of a waste stream may increase the likelihood that thematerial can be recycled or reused. Methods include gravity and vacuum filtration, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, freeze vaporization etc.For example, an electronic component manufacturer can use compaction equipments to reducevolume of waste cathode ray-tube.Recovery and reuseThis technique could eliminate waste disposal costs, reduce raw material costs and provideincome from a salable waste. Waste can be recovered on-site, or at an off-site recovery facility,or through inter industry exchange. A number of physical and chemical techniques are availableto reclaim a waste material such as reverse osmosis, electrolysis, condensation, electrolyticrecovery, filtration, centrifugation etc. For example, a printed-circuit board manufacturer can useelectrolytic recovery to reclaim metals from copper and tin-lead plating bath.However recycling of hazardous products has little environmental benefit if it simply moves thehazards into secondary products that eventually have to be disposed of. Unless the goal is toredesign the product to use nonhazardous materials, such recycling is a false solution.Sustainable product designMinimization of hazardous wastes should be at product design stage itself keeping in mind thefollowing factors* Rethink the product design: Efforts should be made to design a product with fewer amounts of hazardous materials. For example, the efforts to reduce material use are reflected in some new computer designs that are flatter, lighter and more integrated. Other companies propose centralized networks similar to the telephone system. Use of renewable materials and energy: Bio-based plastics are plastics made with plant-based chemicals or plant-produced polymers rather than from petrochemicals. Bio-based toners, glues
and inks are used more frequently. Solar computers also exist but they are currently very expensive. Use of non-renewable materials that are safer: Because many of the materials used are non- renewable, designers could ensure the product is built for re-use, repair and/or upgradeability. Some computer manufacturers such as Dell and Gateway lease out their products thereby ensuring they get them back to further upgrade and lease out again.Responsibilities of the Government(i) Governments should set up regulatory agencies in each district, which are vested with theresponsibility of co-ordinating and consolidating the regulatory functions of the variousgovernment authorities regarding hazardous substances.(ii) Governments should be responsible for providing an adequate system of laws, controls andadministrative procedures for hazardous waste management (Third World Network. 1991).Existing laws concerning e-waste disposal be reviewed and revamped. A comprehensive law thatprovides e-waste regulation and management and proper disposal of hazardous wastes isrequired. Such a law should empower the agency to control, supervise and regulate the relevantactivities of government departments.Under this law, the agency concerned should o Collect basic information on the materials from manufacturers, processors and importers and to maintain an inventory of these materials. The information should include toxicity and potential harmful effects. o Identify potentially harmful substances and require the industry to test them for adverse health and environmental effects. o Control risks from manufacture, processing, distribution, use and disposal of electronic wastes. o Encourage beneficial reuse of "e-waste" and encouraging business activities that use waste". Set up programs so as to promote recycling among citizens and businesses. o Educate e-waste generators on reuse/recycling options(iii) Governments must encourage research into the development and standard of hazardouswaste management, environmental monitoring and the regulation of hazardous waste-disposal.(iv) Governments should enforce strict regulations against dumping e-waste in the country byoutsiders. Where the laws are flouted, stringent penalties must be imposed. In particular,custodial sentences should be preferred to paltry fines, which these outsiders / foreign nationalscan pay.(v) Governments should enforce strict regulations and heavy fines levied on industries, which donot practice waste prevention and recovery in the production facilities.(vi) Polluter pays principle and extended producer responsibility should be adopted.(vii) Governments should encourage and support NGOs and other organizations to involveactively in solving the nations e-waste problems.
(viii) Uncontrolled dumping is an unsatisfactory method for disposal of hazardous waste andshould be phased out.(viii) Governments should explore opportunities to partner with manufacturers and retailers toprovide recycling services.Responsibility and Role of industries 1. Generators of wastes should take responsibility to determine the output characteristics of wastes and if hazardous, should provide management options. 2. All personnel involved in handling e-waste in industries including those at the policy, management, control and operational levels, should be properly qualified and trained. Companies can adopt their own policies while handling e-wastes. Some are given below: Use label materials to assist in recycling (particularly plastics). Standardize components for easy disassembly. Re-evaluate cheap products use, make product cycle cheap and so that it has no inherent value that would encourage a recycling infrastructure. Create computer components and peripherals of biodegradable materials. Utilize technology sharing particularly for manufacturing and de manufacturing. Encourage / promote / require green procurement for corporate buyers. Look at green packaging options. 3. Companies can and should adopt waste minimization techniques, which will make a significant reduction in the quantity of e-waste generated and thereby lessening the impact on the environment. It is a "reverse production" system that designs infrastructure to recover and reuse every material contained within e-wastes metals such as lead, copper, aluminum and gold, and various plastics, glass and wire. Such a "closed loop" manufacturing and recovery system offers a win-win situation for everyone, less of the Earth will be mined for raw materials, and groundwater will be protected, researchers explain. 4. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers should undertake the responsibility of recycling/disposal of their own products. 5. Manufacturers of computer monitors, television sets and other electronic devices containing hazardous materials must be responsible for educating consumers and the general public regarding the potential threat to public health and the environment posed by their products. At minimum, all computer monitors, television sets and other electronic devices containing hazardous materials must be clearly labeled to identify environmental hazards and proper materials management.
Responsibilities of the CitizenWaste prevention is perhaps more preferred to any other waste management option includingrecycling. Donating electronics for reuse extends the lives of valuable products and keeps themout of the waste management system for a longer time. But care should be taken while donatingsuch items i.e. the items should be in working condition.Reuse, in addition to being an environmentally preferable alternative, also benefits society. Bydonating used electronics, schools, non-profit organizations, and lower-income families canafford to use equipment that they otherwise could not afford.E-wastes should never be disposed with garbage and other household wastes. This should besegregated at the site and sold or donated to various organizations.While buying electronic products opt for those that: o are made with fewer toxic constituents o use recycled content o are energy efficient o are designed for easy upgrading or disassembly o utilize minimal packaging o offer leasing or take back options o have been certified by regulatory authorities. Customers should opt for upgrading their computers or other electronic items to the latest versions rather than buying new equipments.NGOs should adopt a participatory approach in management of e-wastes