From smartwatches to smart home appliances, we spend 24 hours a day hooked on technology. Technological progress is a determining factor, as it allows us to have a more comfortable life, but have you ever wondered what happens to all the devices we throw away?
In Spain each citizen produces about 10kg of electronic waste per year, this worldwide means more than 40 million tons per year, where 5% corresponds to small devices such as cell phones, cameras or laptops. Once these figures are known, it is important to note that in many cases the lack of information about the existing means for recycling means that their materials are not recovered and put back into circulation.
Once your smartphone, or any other device, stops working you should take it to a WEEE (recycling of electrical and electronic equipment) container, which are usually located in large supermarkets or take it to a clean point.
Once they are collected and transported to the recovery plant, the material is stored in specialized facilities where the necessary measures are taken to prevent them from being damaged by inclement weather or contaminating the soil. Before treatment begins, all WEEE is weighed and classified to control the volume of the quantities handled by each facility.
The first thing that is done with these WEEE is to separate the materials through a fragmentation process. Once separated, a treatment is applied to each material to allow its recovery and subsequent reuse in the industry.
It is true that it is not possible to recover 100% of the material, but it is very important that these materials can be given a second life, thus preventing them from ending up in the sea or decomposing, contaminating the soil and destroying the planet.
What about you, did you know what to do with your devices once their life is over?