Electronic waste (or e-waste) is a by-product of our never-ending quest to obtain advanced technology. Millions of devices are sold in the computer space every year, and millions more are discarded or considered obsolete. With the high turnover of technology and increasing obsolescence rates, even machines that are still capable of good performance are lumped into the electronic waste category as people abandon them. What impact does this have on the computer repair market, and how does it affect the industry overall? Let’s find out.
The danger that electronic waste poses
A computer is a machine primarily made up of circuits and components. These are made from materials such as silicon, iron, glass, and others. More importantly, computers also contain toxic elements like mercury, arsenic, lithium, cadmium, etc. This poses a dangerous threat to both people and the environment. Not only are we discarding precious materials that go into the creation of a computer, but some of it can also be actively harmful when people, animals, or the environment comes into contact with them.
When computers become unwanted, they are thrown out and eventually end up in landfills. This poses a threat to the ecology since landfills aren’t the best place to send computers to. Electronic waste, if discarded improperly, can worsen conditions by taking up space and harming more than initially thought possible. The best idea would be to recycle computers that have been considered obsolete.
How recycling can help with electronic waste
Recycling electronic waste is the best option in most cases. With an old computer, you can send it to a certified e-waste recycler, who will take care to handle it in the most efficient way possible. This usually means taking the system apart and extracting various materials from it to be put to good use.
Other devices and objects can use the materials extracted from old computers. This includes creating new computers as well. Check with your computer manufacturer on any recycling or buyback programs. Most OEMs offer a buyback scheme where the old device is either repurposed or refurbished. In return, you can trade in your old device for a new one. It can be a great solution to the electronic waste problem we all face.
Repair shops can make good use of old computers
That’s not to say that computer repair shops can’t find any use for old systems. Repair stores can take in electronic waste and give possibly the best solutions out there. For a repair store, an old computer can prove to be a very good investment. Discarding e-waste, conversely, can affect the computer repair industry in a negative manner.
Technicians can work on repairing old computers to fix any defects that they have and refurbish them with new parts. These can then be sold at a profit to customers. Computers can also be sourced for parts that are useful when repairing other systems. For instance, using the RAM, hard drive, power supply, or CPU on any other system can help with repairs. Finally, if your computer repair shop has some form of on-site repair, a refurbished system can be really useful. You can use it as a good workstation and diagnostic tool when you go to repair devices. This helps with issues such as networking or server management since those types of jobs do not require highly-intensive, top-of-the-line machines.
Electronic waste can prove to be a blessing in disguise for most repair stores. Most people who aren’t tech-savvy don’t really know what they consider as e-waste. Because newer models have more added bells and whistles, a perfectly-fine MacBook from 2015 can be considered ‘obsolete’ by them. But for someone who is into computers, they know the real value of those machines. Refurbishing and selling old cell phones and computers can earn a good profit, or at the very least, cut down on costs.
Regardless of how you plan on using it, we can all agree that electronic waste, if left unattended, is a major problem. Taking care of our devices is important, lest they end up harming the environment or other people in the process. To sum up, electronic waste is our responsibility, and if we let it, it can either be a great opportunity or a great failure.
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