Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. I am writing about what is turning into a huge problem; that of electronic waste.

 70% of toxic waste comes from electronic sources, such as computer, televisions, and phones. The high amount of lead in electronics alone causes damage in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the blood and the kidneys. They also cause different types of cancers. Other materials include sulphur, beryllium oxide, and cadmium. These are toxic at a sufficiently high level of exposure.

 Worldwide, only 15% of all computer owners recycle their computers, which means the other 85% end up thrown away. About 50 millions cell phones are replaced worldwide a month, and only 10% are recycled. If we recycled just a million cell phones, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 1,368 cars off the road for a year!

Sadly, what happens is that electronic waste is thrown into landfills. In the U.S., electronic waste is sent to China, India, and Kenya, where environmental standards are lower and the waste is buried in landfills. However, the lead pollutes the soil and the water, leading to health problems. As for Lebanon; the same fate awaits us in terms of how we deal with our waste.

Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include, but are not limited to:

  1. Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes
  2. LCD desktop monitors
  3. Laptop computers with LCD displays
  4. LCD televisions
  5. Plasma televisions
  6. Portable DVD players with LCD screens.
  7. Cellular phones
  8. Stereos
  9. Copiers
  10. Fax Machines
  11. Ipads
  12. Ipods
  13. Kindles

So what do we do about electronic waste? How do we reduce it? The answer to this is surprisingly simple. When you want to get rid of your phone or laptop, return it back to the company you bought it from. The company will typically use your electronic device for spare parts, and use what is good. What is not will be recycled for precious metals. For example, Hewlett-Packard strips the parts that are not good for reuse and sorts the available copper, gold, palladium, silver, and tin; these are sold for recycling. Companies such as these also treat the battery and are able to recycle it.

Lebanon, this is especially easy for us, as there is an awesome new e-cycling initiative in Lebanon. Called Beeatoona, this organization collects and treats electronic waste. What they do is collect electronic waste and e-cycle it. It’s wonderfully simple, and easy for us. The contact information is below, but if you want to check out the website, please follow this link:  http://www.ecycle-me.org/component/main/index.asp To find a list of e-cycling locations and collection points near you, please follow this link: http://www.ecycle-me.org/Content/Downloads/Pdf/Technical-lebanon.pdf

Lebanon, let us support Beeatoona and ourselves in this initiative.The health effects of electronic waste on our environment and ourselves will be mitigated if all try. Let’s fight for our country and our health. We can do it, Lebanon!

For further information about Beeatoona, please contact:

Christine Thomassian
Project Coordinator
Beeatoona Organization
Beirut – Lebanon
T + 961 1 249 653
M + 961 3 256 917
F + 961 1 249 653
E christine.thomassian@beeatoona.org
W http://www.beeatoona.org