teach-ict.com logo

THE education site for computer science and ICT

landfill ewaste

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

2. E-waste

Electronic waste or e-waste is a huge problem around the world. Our old technology is often sent to landfill, not because it doesn't work, but simply because it has been replaced by a whizzy, all singing, all dancing, newer version.

The major problem with e-waste is that the toxic chemicals such as lead, arsenic and cadmium can leach into the soil over time. Then as rain washes it away, rivers and water supplies can be contaminated.

As a result most countries in the developed world have introduced strict regulations to prevent e-waste being dumped into landfill. Electronic components now have to be recycled.

In order to get around this, some countries have been sending their e-waste to less economically developed regions around the world where the regulations aren't as strict.

We hear of e-waste mountains where people (even children) spend their days in hazardous conditions salvaging some of the precious metals from the discarded electronic goods to sell for cash. This practice can have a huge detrimental effect on their health and safety.


Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: What is E-waste?