When dumped into landfills, the toxic compounds can leach out and pollute groundwater. When computers are burned, the dangerous substances are released into the atmosphere and contaminate the incinerator ash. Burning plastics and flame retardants also lead to the production of carcinogenic dioxins and furans.
What is so bad about landfills?
a major source of pollution, and there are many negative issues associated with them. Rubbish buried in landfill breaks down at a very slow rate and remains a problem for future generations. The three main problems with landfill are toxins, leachate and greenhouse gases.
What type of metal is present in electronics that make them hazardous to dispose of in landfills?
The presence of elements like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, selenium and hexavalent chromium and flame retardants beyond threshold quantities of e-waste classifies them as hazardous waste [11-13].
Why electronic waste is a problem?
E-waste contains a laundry list of chemicals that are harmful to people and the environment, like: mercury, lead, beryllium, brominated flame retardants, and cadmium, i.e. stuff that sounds as bad as it is. When electronics are mishandled during disposal, these chemicals end up in our soil, water, and air.
What happens landfill?
Waste decomposes in a landfill. Decomposition means that those chemical bonds that hold material together disintegrate and the material breaks down into simpler substances. Biological decomposition can be hastened or delayed depending on the amount of oxygen, temperature, and moisture available.
Are landfills safe?
No Landfill is Safe
There’s simply no such thing as a safe landfill. No matter how many barriers, liners, and pipes we install to try to mitigate the risk, landfills will always leak toxic chemicals into the soil and water.
What are the dangers of disposing old electronics?
Why can’t I throw electronics in the garbage? E-waste is hazardous material. Over time, electronics can leak toxic elements, like mercury and lead, which can be harmful to the environment and to humans. Donating your electronics for reuse or recycling them at safely managed sites helps control the hazards.
What hazardous materials have to be dealt with while disposing of electronic items How would these materials affect the environment?
Answer: Electronic items contain some hazardous materials such as cadmium, lead, mercury, chromium, some compressed gases, PVCs etc. which can contaminate the environment once released by dumping, melting and burning of electronic wastes. Mercury can cause damage to the nervous system, kidneys and brain.
What are the dangers in recycling electronics?
Hazardous materials in e-waste, like lead and mercury, can leach out of landfills into groundwater and incinerating the plastics in electronics emits cancer-causing dioxins and furans.
What happens to e-waste in landfills?
However, most electronic waste still ends up in landfills or gets incinerated, wasting useful resources and releasing toxic chemicals and other pollutants — such as lead, mercury, and cadmium — into the soil, groundwater, and atmosphere to the detriment of the environment.
How are electronics disposed of?
In California, it is illegal to put electronic equipment in the trash. Many electronic devices contain toxic chemicals that can leak from the landfill and contaminate groundwater and soil. Electronics can be recycled at your local household hazardous waste drop-off facility for free, or at participating stores.
How do landfills pollute the air?
Landfills emit landfill gas that consists mostly of methane and carbon dioxide, with small amounts of volatile organic compounds from the bacterial decomposition of organic materials. Methane and carbon dioxide are both greenhouse gases, and methane is toxic and explosive in large concentrations.
What kind of wastes are disposed of in landfills?
There are currently three standard landfill types: municipal solid waste, industrial waste and hazardous waste. Each accepts specific types of waste and has different practices to limit environmental impact.
4. Green Waste Landfills
- Tree branches.
- Biodegradable food waste.
- Flowers and grass trimmings.
What happens to landfill gas?
Landfill gases can move from a landfill through soil into outdoor air as well as the indoor air of nearby buildings. Landfill gases in outdoor air can enter a building through windows, doors, and ventilation systems.