Recycling is one of the waste treatment methods for which due to value of the material or environmental perspective, the old material (waste) changes to new and usable products. Few materials that can be recycled are: glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles, and electronics. Few of these will be discussed since Electronic waste contains glass, metal and plastic.
The process of making new and usable products from waste glass. “Every metric ton (1,000 kg) of waste glass recycled into new items saves 315 kilograms (694 lb.) of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere during the creation of new glass.(6) The recycling steps for glass are(7):
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In figure below, every method and how the waste plastic is processed and used has been shown. In chemical recycling the plastic waste is used as base and unprepared ingredient for petrochemical processes or in metal smelting. Mechanical recycling is mostly for the plastic waste which is not a mix of different types of plastic, so shredding and identification is used and new products from that plastic is made for use. The thermal recycling is a method for which the waste plastic is used as a fuel for energy recovery. The high calorific value of the plastic which comes from burning it and the amount of heat generated, gives the option of using it as replacement fuel in industries like cement kilns.
Almost all kinds of metal products can be recycled especially ferrous metals which are mostly composed of iron and have magnetic properties. Steel is a ferrous metal (one of the iron alloys) and is one of the most recycled materials in the world. Most of the products made from Aluminum and steel can be recycled without losing any of its content. Recycling metal is like usual recycling procedure and is not so much different than usual. Some examples of metals that get recovered for treatment and recycling are lead, copper and other precious metals. The metals are first collected then they are sorted based on their properties. The recycling process involves following steps (8):
2- Sorting: The second step is sorting different types of the metals and check the quality of metal.
3- Processing: crushing, breaking and compacting the metal.
4- Shredding: metals are shredded to small sheets or pieces for easier further processing.
5- Melting and Purification
Environmental impact and chemical contamination at E-waste recycling and disposal sites:
Recycling and E-waste management has positive effect on the health, and safety of the humans and the environment, it will be cost beneficial in the long run as well if done correctly and properly. Process of recycling can also have negative effect on the environment especially on the landfills and recycling sites. Most of the electronic waste is sent to developing countries because of the lack of stringent environmental laws and regulations. The other reason is cheap labor for workers and treatment processes. Countries like China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Philippines, Ghana and etc. Because of...