ELECTRONIC POLLUTION

Rio Preto collects an average of three tons of e-waste per month, but has the potential to collect twice as much, if not for the lack of information from residents about the location of collection points.

Cell phones, tablets, computers, televisions, washing machines and dishwashers, refrigerators and all devices that will be discarded are classified as electronic waste, explains biologist Clayton Rangel.

“People are not aware of the damage they can cause to the environment by improper disposal, because mercury-containing products fall on the ground and can contaminate groundwater, that is, the water we drink,” warns the expert.

On the list of people who know what to do with electronic waste is real estate broker Marcos Moraes (51), who has three broken smartphones at home, but does not throw them away because he is afraid of polluting the environment. “I wanted to throw them away, but I don’t know the right place,” comments the merchant.

As for medical student Tiago Amorim, when he has to dispose of used cell phones, he leaves them in special trash cans at phone company stores. “Whoever needs to dispose of it, should take it to the Samsung, Oi, Vivo, Tim and Claro stores, because they have the appropriate garbage to accept,” recommends the doctor.

Cooperlagos, a cooperative of recyclable waste collectors in Rio Preto, collected 23.7 tons of electronic waste last year, less than half of the 53 tons that the institution collected in 2020. In 2022, the trend is for improvement, as 27.5 tons of electronic waste waste collected, but it will still be below its real potential.

“We advise not to dispose of people who are not technically prepared to handle this waste because of the toxic substances and heavy metals that make up the products,” warns the coordinator of Cooperlagos, Tereza Marta Pagliotto.

For example, a person who leaves a tube TV on the pavement contributes to pollution. An untrained recycler opens the monitor to collect copper, but with this gesture, mercury and other environmentally harmful products drip onto the ground.

Federal Regulation 10,240 of 2020 established rules for the implementation of a reverse logistics system for electronic products, the so-called electronic waste. The text regulates the mechanism provided by the National Solid Waste Policy, adopted in 2010, according to which manufacturers and importers of these items are responsible for the disposal of electronic waste in order to reduce the impact on the environment.

In addition to Cooperlagos and stores that collect products in accordance with the decree, Rio Preto has seven collection points that you can find through the link: https://greeneletron.org.br/localizador. “These materials should not go to normal waste because they pollute the environment, water and soil. These contaminations end up on food, animals and cause health problems, often serious, including because many of these electronics contain heavy metals”, says Kátia Penteado, Municipal Secretary for Environment and Urbanism.

Electrical or electronic products that are not discarded
have more benefits

can be classified
into four basic categories, each with different specifications in view
size and application

Large equipment: refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, stoves, air conditioners, microwave ovens, large TVs, etc.

Small equipment and small household appliances: toasters, mixers, vacuum cleaners, fans, blenders, hair dryers, power tools, calculators, cameras
digital, radio etc.

Computer and telephone equipment: computers, tablets, laptops, mobile phones, printers, monitors and others.

Portable batteries and accumulators: Model AA, AAA, rechargeable batteries, 9V portable batteries, etc.

Products contain different materials such as plastics, metals, glass and many others, which can be disassembled, recycled and used as raw materials for the production of new products.

Recycling contributes to reducing the extraction of resources from nature, while creating new jobs and a new chain of companies

Risks to human health and the environment: because the components contain toxic substances and heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, mercury, which can contaminate
soil, water and food

There are at least eight collection points in Rio Preto
electronic materials

Leroy Merlin: the avenue
Mario Andreazza, 404,
Saint Mark’s Garden

Macro: Avenida Floriano André Cabrera, 955,
Saint Mark’s Garden

Casas Bahia: Shopping Cidade Norte

Casas Bahia: Plaza Avenida Shopping

Ponto Frio: Shopping Iguatemi

Ponto Frio: Riopreto Shopping

Moto shop: Riopreto Shopping

Electronic waste collected by Cooperlagos:

Average: 3.1 tons
month

Source: City Hall, Green Nation, Cooperlagos and Reportage

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