What harm can these small things do to us? This might be a common question that one may ask in connection with printed circuit board. Those are all but small things. That’s obvious. However, bringing into consideration the continuous production of these electronic components year by year, a large amount could accumulate into a vast landscape of PCBs. In addition, people don’t throw their electronic wastes piece by piece; they toss chunk by chunk of damaged and defective computers, gadget, machines and irreparable cars.
A printed circuit board is made up of synthetic materials that never easily decompose unlike the usual garbage everyone throws every day. The chemical contents and material used in its production could emit airborne dioxins and carcinogenic gases which are harmful to human health. Heavy metal dusts can also be traced among communities nearest to junk sites and landfills. These particulates could be inhaled in by nearby residents and accumulate in their lungs; causing chronic respiratory diseases. Maybe some would be brought to the recycling plants and return to the circulation trough the reuse and recycle programs. Most directly go to landfills and incinerators; proving that there is still a great need for the proper execution of environmental programs.
One may wonder how it could be possible to recycle a printed circuit board when it is too small and the tiny parts are not very ideal for making a work of an art. Below are suggestions on how to recycle and reuse your computer or gadget scraps:
- Inquire on the nearby recycling plants or junk shops
Inquire on what parts of the scrap computers can be sold to them. Separate the ones that are not sale able and keep it for other purposes. Studies aimed at the recycling processes for PCBs have statements about the development of a meticulous process of separating metal and synthetic materials. The segregated metal components will be gathered to be recycled and returned on the circulation.
- Learn of the hazardous chemicals which comprise a printed circuit board
Make a comprehensive research on which components of a PCB are harmful upon contact by touch or inhalation. Learn of the possible diseases that these electronic wastes’ gas emission could bring and research on the possible methods of segregating such components. Consult a nearby waste management authority office to find out the best things to do for the said purpose.
- Work of Art Vs. Incinerators and Landfills
Studies show that the soil in landfills get saturated with the chemicals that electronic wastes emit upon slow decomposition. The soil becomes polluted and not ideal for growing plants. Incinerating garbage could be considered wasting resources that could still be used in the coming years of innovations and development on wastes management technology. While waiting for such most awaited phenomenon by environmentalists, why not make something beautiful out of it? Why not try it on your printed circuit board?
- Keep updated on the environmental issues around the globe
This will keep you reminded of the need for resource and environment conservation. Most people get to sympathize for these issues for a week or two then go back to their old ways and habits. Internalize the possible damage that your wastes could give to other people. In Guiyu, China, their electronic waste capital, thousands upon thousands of electronic wastes are dumped. These causes water pollution on the nearby bodies of water and carcinogenic air pollution caused by uncontrolled burning of synthetic wastes; making the water supply unsafe to drink or to be used for household chores of the residents. Always keep in mind that in every waste thrown, people’s lives might be at risk.