This may seem like doom and gloom style thinking, but it’s the reality that we are all staring in the face unless more of an effort is made to protect our environment. We can’t do without it, but it can certainly do without us, making the human species the worst house-guests of all time. But it isn’t too late to make changes to the way we lead our lives and the way we consume.
Many directives have been introduced that aim to curb the pressure our activities place on the planet, like the European Union’s WEEE Directive, a rather ambitious scheme that aims to increase the amount of appliance recycling that takes place among member states.
Schemes like this are excellent and will make a big difference, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all take more of an interest in the way our appliances are recycled. We should all be shouldering the responsibility for correctly disposing of the appliances that we no longer need.
Landfill – Not a Good Place to End Up
The problem with improperly recycled appliances, like digital, electric, kitchen and everyday household appliances, is that they tend to end up in landfills. Landfills are a problem the world over and not just in developing countries. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that there are landfills just down the road from them.
When appliances are dumped in landfills they disintegrate and the chemicals and poisons that they contain, like lead and mercury for instance, leak out and make their way into the soil. Along with contaminating the soil and leaving a poisonous residue that can affect the food we eat when crops are grown, those poisons also make their way into our water supplies and therefore the water we drink.
How to Recycle Correctly
Correctly recycling your unwanted appliances is actually very easy and there are several things that you can do to make sure your appliances don’t end up in landfills.
- If you can have the appliance repaired and continue to use it, do so. You may find you’ll save money and get many more years’ service out of the appliance.
- If it can’t be repaired, recycle it properly at your local recycling centre. There should be a centre near you, though if there isn’t, call your local council.
- Contact your local council and ask about a collection date for unwanted appliances, rubbish, etc. You can be confident it will be recycled properly.
- Contact a local appliance repair business. They may collect your appliance for free and use it for spare parts when repairing someone else’s appliances.
The future certainly doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. In fact the future, if we all act more responsibly in the present, will be a wonderful place for us all.