Electronic medical waste is not something new because hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices and other healthcare facilities have used electronics in their work for many decades. However, in the last 20 years, there are two things that have changed. First of all, medical facilities today use much more electronic equipment than before and second, the disposal of unwanted and broken electronics is regulated by different laws and acts. In other words, electronic medical waste is something that everyone is treating carefully. Yet, many managers still have certain misconceptions about this waste. That’s why we have created a list of 10 common misconceptions about electronic medical waste.
- I can put some pieces of electronic medical equipment on the curbside and it will eventually be recycled
In the recent period, there are many activities related to so-called curbside recycling, but if you think that every piece of equipment left on the curbside will be recycled, you are wrong. If this waste ends up in a landfill the consequences for our health and environment will be bad.
- It’s difficult to locate a collection point
This is just an excuse for those who don’t want to get involved in electronic waste recycling. There are many collection points and you can find them online. In addition, you can also find a recycling company that offers free pickup services.
- There is no need to pay money to leave my e-waste
It depends on the drop off site. There are commercial recycling programs that charge a fee for this activity, but there are a free drop off points too.
- Electronic medical waste represents just a fraction of the overall waste in the world
While it is true that the percentage is low, this is one of the fastest growing types of waste and it is much more dangerous compared to general municipal waste.
- Electronic medical waste contains only harmful elements
This is not true because this waste always contains useful materials including gold, palladium, silver and copper. They can be extracted and reused through the process of electronic medical recycling.
- Most of the electronic medical waste today is recycled
Now here’s a myth that is partially correct. According to official statistics, more than 50% of this waste is recycled, but there are still tons of it that end up in landfills.
- Recycling companies send materials that are worthless to landfills
A serious recycling company would never do that because they know that these materials can harm the environment. They are processing these materials in a special way and store them.
- Every recycling company involved in electronic medical recycling works in the same way
Unfortunately, this is wrong because there are many companies in this industry that ship the waste abroad causing global pollution problems.
- Electronic medical waste cannot be reused
Wrong. Thanks to these recycling companies, certain elements are processed and prepared for reuse in new products.
- I have to pay for electronic medical waste pick up services
Most recycling companies will do this for free.