Dispose of old e-gadgets properly, says DENR chief

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Environment Secretary Ramon Paje. AFP

MANILA, Philippines–Environment Secretary Ramon Paje on Saturday warned the public against recklessly throwing their old gadgets in the trash bin, noting the environmental hazards posed by improperly disposed electronic devices.

“You have three main choices for properly getting rid of your old or unused electronics: trade it, donate it or recycle it,” Paje said in a statement.

For those who could use extra cash, he said old electronic gadgets and appliances that are still working can be sold online or to friends.

On the other hand, those who are not hurting for cash may consider donating them.

“Gadgets like cell phones and laptops could be used to fund a good cause, or go to someone who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it,” Paje said.

He said people can discover many uses for old electronic equipment without harming the environment. Some electronic and mobile phone companies and recycling centers collect electronic waste or “e-waste,” he said.

E-waste contains potentially toxic chemicals that can seep into the soil or water supply and escape into the air, posing danger to humans, Paje said.

“If you happen to replace or simply have unused electronic gears or appliances sitting around the house, don’t just throw them in the trash,” Paje said.

“Many components of such equipment are considered toxic and are not biodegradable, and therefore can be harmful to the environment and human health if not disposed of properly,” he said.

Particularly, he said hard and sharp metals and toxic chemicals found in electronics, such as lead, chromium, nickel, zinc and mercury, can mix with other harmful substances in sanitary landfills.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MDAWMT3LIDHOCW7ZTSYXZEUQQ4 ghe

    Dapat magtayo ng e-waste centers sa metro manila.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4C2SFYIH52Y2KR7QPZPHJO2XQQ sl1

    DENR chief, ask these companies to setup compulsory disposal and collection areas for these gadgets and let us know the locations so we can dispose it properly. Don’t just tell us that these are bad for the environment but not putting system in place to address the problem.

  • Yxon

    Especially the LEAD contents Mr. Secretary.  as suggested below by commenters, please have an disposal plan for this materials. no one will be doing it as you suggested it without your concrete support plan.  your waste disposal plan should be broadcasted thru the media or broadsheets.
    we are going into the electronic age, so these wastes would be increasing. much that the disposal plan should be made.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aldin.rrt Al Calde

    so anong plano? 

    ang haba ng sinabi pero wlang direksyon kung saan patungo! VEry dull and shallow…

    Bigger Retailers should be obliged to have a recycling area in which we can dispose of our e-gadgets and batteries alike. 

    Di ho ba MR DENR?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3QBMYPCCPWL5IDWF55BTBVWSAE UPLB-2008-3****

    Eh kasi naman, wala kayong concrete, sustainable infrastructure and services for accepting these e-wastes. How about requiring manufacturers of these to take responsibility for their disposal?

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