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Strategies to reduce E-waste Essay

Produced by over consumption of electric and electronic devices As the population of the world increases rapidly, the rate of consumption of different materials is also increasing; therefore there is an associated increase in the production of waste. This over consumption of materials can be seen in many areas: waste of energy, natural resources and the trees used for the production of paper. One of the fastest growing examples of this type of waste, is the disposal of electrics and electronic equipment, also known as E-waste. According to Heberlein (2006), a brief definition of E-waste might be a mix of waste containing electronic and electric devices. This waste accounts for 4 percent of civil waste in the European Union. Additionally, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery-DRRRC (2005) suggests that E-waste is the popularised name for the electronic products which are nearing the end of their useful lives and are discarded despite the fact that many of these devices can be reused, refurbished, and recycled. They give the examples of computers, televisions, copiers and fax machines as every day household products which are disposed of. Heberlein (2006) also adds that every year between 14 and 20 million personal computers become trash in the US. Although this might seem like a large amount one should be aware that similar volumes of disposals occur throughout the world. The harm that over consumption has on the environment is an increasingly worrying factor; therefore, in order to solve this growing issue, there needs to be a concerted effort to find a solution. Many options have been offered as solutions to this problem from experts.

However they have all proven to be of a temporary nature. Briefly, there are three principle strategies to solve the E-waste problem which can be categorized as Re-use, Repair-Remanufacture and Recycle. In the first place and as the simplest strategy, reusing the electric and electronic devices can be considered. It is important to note that this strategy costs less money and involves less work than the others, which is a strong advantage of this method of dealing with E-waste. Moreover, the only to provide this strategy is that the re-used appliances have to meet with the requirements of the new users. The process of performing this strategy is simply collecting the old devices from their users and distributing them to the new users. DRRRC (2010) indicate, on their website, that there are certain organisations on the internet that allow the opportunity for old users to register their old electronic devices as reusable ones in order to find new users. Thus, this strategy helps to decrease the rate of production of unnecessary electronic trash. As previously stated, the second way to deal with E-waste crisis is renovating and repairing the unwanted devices to put them back into working condition. As Hsin (2009) has discovered, “YouRenew” is an electronic repair group located in the US that acts as an intermediary in the marketplace for second hand devices by offering to trade-in used devices for new ones and then refurbishing the old devices ready for re-sale. This company also sells working, second-hand, parts to electronics factories. Additionally, this process can be continued by using the usable parts of old devices that can not be mended, to produce new devices. The popular name given to this process among the users is “Warranty”. According to King (2006), if a remanufactured product has the same quality as the newly produced one, then it must have the equal warranty as well. Among all of the currently used-product markets, that contain second hand, repaired and remanufactured parts, the most labour intensive is remanufacturing, hence, the quality and reliability of those products are also on a higher level. However, the weakness of this approach of dealing with electronic waste is that as technology advances, the consumption patterns of the consumer changes. There is a trend to always having the most up to date technology. Therefore, these second-hand devices should be upgraded to meet the new demands of the users considering these new patterns of consumption. Furthermore, as a consequence of the consumerist culture, some people are too lazy to give their devices to repair centers and choose to buy new ones instead.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, cited in Hsin (2009), Americans purchased approximately 3 billion new electronic products in 2008. The third way to obviate electronic waste is the recycling of unusable, leftover electronic and electric devices. Here a clear definition of Recycling is needed to give a better understanding of what happens to discarded electric and electronic devices. As cited by King (2006), NRC (1999) suggests that Recycling is “the series of activities by which discarded materials are collected, sorted, processed, and used in the production of new products”(p.6). However, since the process of recycling E-waste is one of the most difficult procedures of recycling waste materials, it does not happen properly. Occasionally, recycling companies avoid doing what they are expected to. According to Paul, recycling companies in America send E-waste to other countries -as waste- instead of actually recycling it, whereas their job must be to change these discarded items into useful materials. As an example of those host countries of E-waste, China can be mentioned since more than a million tons of E-waste is crushed in Guiyu village in China each year (2008). To sum up, reusing, repairing-remanufacturing and recycling are the three main ways to obviate the E-waste problem. Reusing is the easiest way to reduce E-waste since it needs less work than the other ways but the whole process needs users that will be satisfied with second-hand products. Repairing-Remanufacturing is the best way to reduce Electronic waste temporarily until the arrival of new generations of devices, and recycling is still the most difficult way to decrease the waste of electric and electronic devices. While science and technology is developing rapidly, our electric and electronic waste is increasing as well. We should not waste them while we can put them back into the circle of recycling. However, this important project can happen only with the cooperation of each one of us. Adapted from:

Seyedzadeh, J. (2010). Strategies to reduce E-waste produced by over consumption of electric and electronic devices. Unpublished student essay, METU NCC.

References

CDRRR. (2010). Recycle. Retrieved on March 2010 from http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Recycle/ CDRRR. (2010) What is e-waste. Retrieved on March 2010 from http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/electronics/WhatisEWaste/

Hsin, C. (2009, April). Renewing electronics. Retrieved on March 2010 from http:// www.yaledailynews.com/news/university-news/2009/04/09/renew-ing-electronics/

Heberlein, C. (2006). What is E-Waste. Retrieved on March 2010 from http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/what_is_e_waste

King, A.M. (n.d.). Reducing End-of-life Waste:Repair, Recondition, Remanufacture or Recycle. Retrieved on March 2010 from www.remanufacturing.org.uk/pdf/Salt_Lake_City_v6_AK.doc

Paul. (2008). What happens to your electronic waste. Retrieved on March 2010 from http://green-pepper.org.uk/consumerism/what-happens-to-electronic-waste/

SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY ANALYSIS

1. Read the introduction and answer the question that follows:

What is the thesis statement of the essay? Remember that a thesis statement is the sentence that introduces the topic of your essay and tells the reader what to expect from it.

Thesis Statement: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

2. Read the thesis statement and answer the question that follows :

What are the three main principle strategies to solve the e-waste problem?

1)
2)
3)

3. Read paragraph 1 and answer the questions that follows:

What is the main idea and the topic sentence of the paragraph?

Main Idea:
______________________________________________________________________________

Topic Sentence:
______________________________________________________________________________

4. Read paragraph 2 and answer the questions that follows:

What is the main idea and the topic sentence of the paragraph?

Main Idea:
______________________________________________________________________________

Topic Sentence:
______________________________________________________________________________

5. Read paragraph 3 and answer the questions that follows:

What is the main idea and the topic sentence of the paragraph?

Main Idea:
______________________________________________________________________________

Topic Sentence:
______________________________________________________________________________

6. Read the conclusion and answer the question that follows:

Which of the strategies below do you think the writer has used to write the conclusion. a) restating the thesis
b) summarising the main ideas
c) making future recommendations and suggestions
d) synthesising the main points to show the relevance to the topic

7. Read the sample essay and identify the transition words that have been used to signal the relation between the paragraphs.

Body paragraph 1: __e.g. In the first place___

Body paragraph 2:______________________

Body paragraph 3:______________________

Conclusion:____________________________

8. Referencing: Scan the essay and answer the questions that follow:

How many sources did the writer use?
What are the publication dates of these sources and the surnames of the authors? What other information does the writer give about the source other than the surname and the publication date? Why do you think there is a list of sources at the end of the essay? How is this list organised?

SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY 2

Positive Effects of Educational Investment on People’s Life

Investment is defined as the process of purchasing an asset, giving a loan or keeping money in a bank account so that it can generate future profits (EconomyWatch). There are many options of investment available. Since investment in education, which is recognized as an investment in human capital, is the most important factor for economic and social development (European Employment committee 2005), it is worth analysing this phenomenon and relate its benefits. It is considered by economists that the time and money invested in better education results in gains that makes people’s life easier and increases the possibility of satisfying their needs. Part of these gains or benefits are probable to be connected to higher income; However, it is not the only positive effect of educational investment (Vila, 2005). Investment in education affects our life in three ways: Increases earning capacity in the labour market, reduces criminality and improves health status. Firstly, by increasing earning capacity in labour market, education reduces the risk of poverty and the inequalities in the wealth distribution as also suggested by Eckwert (2010) “welfare is higher under better information” (p. 585). According to Comer (1988) and Ann et al (1993), people with better schooling are less probable to not being included in the development process. Everywhere in the world, more education has led people to increase their participation in the labour market . For example, in European Union, the number of male labour force participation of those who have lower secondary education is 13% less than the ones who have completed upper secondary education and 20% less than those who have graduated. The females labour force participation rates are even more noticeable, the participation of those who have lower secondary education is 19% less than the ones who have completed upper secondary education and 34% less than the graduated ones. Secondly, schooling helps people to comprehend social values and fosters them to behave in a way that is acceptable by the society. Therefore, the society expects educated people to be more civilised and express sympathy for others. Communities with less educated population usually shows a certain instability and are more likely to undergo violent social conflicts than the ones with educated population. As stressed by Ehrlich (1975), more education seems to be related to drop in violent crime. Moreover, it increases social cohesion and develop a sense of citizenship. For instance, school experience may, independently of the level of schooling, reduce ones’ available time for participating in illegal or criminal activities, and raise ones’ skills and abilities instead.

Finally, higher education may lead to a healthier life style, since people with high education level can respond to any health problem in different ways, contrary to those with lower education (Groot, 2000). Phelan (1995) suggests that socioeconomic status has been in the root of diseases and mortality because the higher is the socioeconomic status, the higher will be the number of facilities available to decrease the risks and consequences of health problems. Poor health is the main cause of the mortality in the world, and the mortality rate for children, since they are more prone to diseases, is higher than any other. Increased parental education gives access to more skilled work and higher earning, and these resources help parents raise their children in a better way, providing them with better health and reducing the family’s probability of experiencing financial hardship. To sum up, education has a variety of positive impacts throughout people’s life. There is consistent evidence as to the positive effects of education investment on labour market earnings, health status, social development and well-being of the whole population. All these positive aspects, both monetary and non-monetary, stress the importance of investing more and more in education, and consequently provide people with higher and better education, so that they can get high incomes, better health assistance and decrease their motivation for criminal behaviour. From: Joao, E.I. (2010). Student essay submitted in partial fulfilment of ENG 101.

OUTLINE

Title: Positive Effects of Educational Investment on People’s Life

Introduction:
Main idea (thesis statement): Investment in education affects our life in three ways: Increases earning capacity in the labour market reduces criminality and improves health status.

Body:
Main idea 1: Increasing earning capacity in labour market
Support 1: Education reduces the risk of poverty and the inequalities in the wealth distribution, E.g. “welfare is higher under better information” (Eckwert, 2010, p. 585) Support 2: Educated people are included in the development process (Comer,1988 & Ann et al, 1993) E.g. more education, more participation in the labour market

e.g. EU statistics

Main idea 2: Schooling helps people to comprehend social values and fosters them to behave in a way that is acceptable by the society Support 1: People are expected to be civilized and show sympathy E.g. Less educated communities experience social conflicts more than the educated ones Support
2: As education increases crime rate drops (Ehrlich, 1975) Support 3: Increase in social cohesion and the developments of the sense of citizenship (Ehrlich, 1975) E.g. time spent at school not on committing crimes

Main idea 3: Higher education may lead to a healthier life style Support 1: Highly educated people deal with health in different ways than the less educated ones (Groot, 2000) Support 2: Socioeconomic status is related with poor health (Phelan,1995) E.g. poor health results in an increase in mortality rate

e.g. as a result of increased parental education children are provided with better health options

Conclusion:
Main idea (restatement of the thesis statement): Education has a variety of positive impacts throughout people’s life. There is consistent evidence as to the positive effects of education investment on labour market earnings, health status, social development and well-being of the whole population.

OUTLINE

Title: Positive Effects of Educational Investment on People’s Life Introduction:
Main idea (thesis statement): Investment in education affects our life in three ways: Increases earning capacity in the labour market reduces criminality and improves health status.

Body:
I. Main idea 1: Increasing earning capacity in labour market A. Education reduces the risk of poverty and the inequalities in the wealth distribution, E.g. “welfare is higher under better information” (Eckwert, 2010, p. 585) B. Educated people are included in the development process (Comer,1988 & Ann et al, 1993) E.g. more education, more participation in the labour market

e.g. EU statistics
II. Main idea 2: Schooling helps people to comprehend social values and fosters them to behave in a way that is acceptable by the society A. People are expected to be civilized and show sympathy

E.g. Less educated communities experience social conflicts more than the educated ones B. As education increases crime rate drops (Ehrlich, 1975)
C. Increase in social cohesion and the developments of the sense of citizenship (Ehrlich, 1975)
E.g. time spent at school not on committing crimes
III. Main idea 3: Higher education may lead to a healthier life style A. Highly educated people deal with health in different ways than the less educated ones (Groot, 2000) B. Socioeconomic status is related with poor health (Phelan,1995) E.g. poor health results in an increase in mortality rate e.g. as a result of increased parental education children are provided with better health options

Conclusion:
Main idea (restatement of the thesis statement): Education has a variety of positive impacts throughout people’s life. There is consistent evidence as to the positive effects of education investment on labour market earnings, health status, social development and well-being of the whole population.


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