As modern day innovation changes the way we work and browse online, eWaste recycling must adapt with it. One of the major developments is the Internet of Things, a topic that was discussed in great detail at this year’s International Electronics Recycling Congress in Salzburg.
50 Billion by 2020
Already, 15 billion devices are digitally connected with one another. Predictions suggest this number will increase to 50 billion devices in the IoT (Internet of Things) by the year 2020. This not only includes computers, tablets, and smartphones but also wearables, consumer electronics, and even vehicles.
Whilst this innovation offers consumers far greater convenience, it naturally requires businesses like Tier 1 to innovate with it. For example, many new ‘smart tech’ pieces have new materials built into them. These may be used because they are smaller, cheaper, lighter.
The issue with this though is that little research has been done into some of these more modern materials with respect to how they behave in the traditional recycling processes. A number of these new materials and additives could introduce new risks in terms of environmental protection and industrial health and safety if not handled carefully.
In addition to this, it’s often not so easy for the recycler to know which products have additives that might need special handling as these are sometimes kept secret.
Smaller & More Durable
It is important to remember, though, that these innovations are generally positive. As technology improves, the lifespan of devices is lengthening, leading to a reduction in turnover. In addition to this, devices are becoming smaller and more durable. This means that fewer materials have to be created which should hopefully ease pressure on the planet.
Devices becoming more durable may mean less work for us in the future but, ultimately, we want to ensure all IT hardware can be reused or recycled to stop any waste going to landfill.
If you would like to talk to one our team about responsibly disposing of your old IT equipment then call us on 0161 777 1000.