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Why is it not allowed to dispose of electronic waste in regular trash bins?
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Why is it not allowed to dispose of electronic waste in regular trash bins?

2022-06-29

Electronic waste lingers in the homes of millions of Poles. Some of us, during major clean-ups, decide to get rid of electronic waste by throwing it into the trash bin, and then into standard waste containers, which is a mistake. According to the current legal regulations, such an act can result in a fine of up to 5000 zlotys. What exactly is electronic waste, and what are the basic principles of e-recycling that should be followed?

What are electronic waste and why shouldn't it be thrown into the bin?

Electronic waste, or e-waste, is nothing else but used or broken electronic and electrical equipment. The most popular types of e-waste include household appliances (both large and small), such as:

  • refrigerators,
  • washing machines,
  • vacuum cleaners,
  • toasters,
  • electric cookers,
  • irons,
  • hair dryers,
  • mixers.

Electronic waste also includes popular audio-visual equipment, for example:

  • televisions,
  • cameras,
  • speakers,
  • DVD players.

E-waste is also considered to include information technology and telecommunications equipment, such as:

  • computers,
  • printers,
  • laptops,
  • smartphones.

The group of electronic waste also includes lighting equipment, like night lamps, energy-saving bulbs, as well as electrical and electronic tools (e.g., lawn mowers, drills, saws).

Why is throwing electronic waste into the home bin a bad idea?

The reason is that used equipment contains toxic metals and substances that are hazardous to human and animal health and the environment. Bromine compounds, cadmium, lead, asbestos, mercury, and freon are just some of them. To prevent contamination of groundwater, air, and soil, used electronic and electrical equipment should be disposed of at designated locations, such as?

Electronic waste collection – where can used equipment be disposed of?

Electronic waste can be disposed of at a Selective Municipal Waste Collection Point (SMWCP). Many large surface area RTV/AGD stores also accept e-waste from customers (free of charge) when purchasing new equipment or without the need to buy new devices. E-waste can also be delivered to an RTV/AGD equipment repair shop (as it is a source of spare parts for them). In larger cities, there are organizations that offer free home or apartment pickup of (some) electronic waste. In this way, for example, an old washing machine, oven, or electric kettle can be disposed of. It is worth noting that functional parts can be reused in the production of new equipment. Our company also operates in this area. For nearly 20 years, we have been purchasing electronic waste (including computer parts, old computers, motherboards). Our facility at BODZANÓW 556 32-020 WIELICZKA also accepts e-waste not related to the IT industry.

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