Recycling of e-wastes should be done by a company that specializes in such a task. There are many recycling companies to choose from, but before choosing, you have to make sure the company is operating under strict environmental compliance. The recycling company you should choose is a company that has certifications from regulating bodies like the special body that issues ISO certification.
Electronics recycling is a complex process. It is more complex than what you imagine when recycling plastics, bottles and other common wastes. If you surrender an electronic device that no longer works, the recycling company will take the parts that can still be used. For example: a non-functional television. A television is made of so many parts including valuable metals like copper. This copper may be used for another purpose like when repairing other devices that need copper replacement. More than 90 percent of an electronic device can be recycled and reused in a thousand of other ways.
Preparing the e-waste for recycling would need segregation of its parts. Most companies include this in their job. Segregating on your own is not advisable. You might encounter some parts that need special handling to avoid poisoning or other possible accidents.
More than 90 percent only of an electronic device can be recycled. If so, then “what happens to the rest?” is probably your question.
The rest of the parts of a television, for example, that cannot be recycled should not be easily disposed. They are still considered hazardous wastes so proper disposal is strictly required. Many devices contain mercury. Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is toxic to humans. The parts that cannot be recycled may contain mercury. This is why households are warned against improper disposal of electronic wastes to prevent possible mercury contamination. Mercury has a lot of use, but if not carefully handled may cause a great damage to the environment.
Electronic wastes maybe just a few percent of the total waste generated everyday. But it represents more than 70 percent of the total hazardous wastes that go to landfills and dump sites. Electronics recycling has done a great job in minimizing e-wastes for the safety of the public and for saving on resources.