As you sit in front of your computer now, reading the latest from Green Prophet, we challenge you to hark back to all of your former computers, printers, phones, batteries… you name it.
Could you say where they are right now? Unless you’re a pack rat, you probably got rid of them when they stopped working. And how did you dispose of them?
Innocently enough, many of you probably threw them out with the regular trash.
Unfortunately, that probably means that the plastic parts of those electronic devices will never biodegrade and will outlive you (and your children), and that the metal parts have disintegrated and trickled into the soil and water system. Not to mention the clogging of landfills. Among other bad things.
As with many other countries where the fast development of technology and increasing consumption of electronic devices has taken place, Turkey is experiencing a growing problem of electronic waste.
The per capita rate of electronic waste per person in Turkey was more than 2.5 kilograms in 2008, half of which is not disposed of properly or recycled. And so the Turkish authorities are taking action, with the Environment and Forest Ministry aiming to collect 50 percent of e-waste in Turkey.
New regulations are expected to go into effect in the middle of 2009.
According to regulations approved by the EU in 2002, companies that produce electronic goods are responsible for overseeing the collection and disposal of electronic waste. But environmental engineer at the Electronic Waste Recycling Company in Izmir, Metin Karacam, says that most recycling campaigns run by electronics distributors are based on the self interests of the companies rather than the interests of the customers.
There are currently three companies in Turkey that specialize in the collection and disposal of electronic waste. Two of them operate only in Izmir and one operates in both Izmir and Istanbul, and they work with a special certificate from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.