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Why is Teen Activism important in waste management?

Teen Activism is important because it really shows that everyone has voice activists can change the world by solving big problems like bullying or environmental problems. Activists can introduce big problems that we have never solved, such as child hunger, homelessness, and education. Once a foundation or cause is started, an activist works to get more people to agree with them by using resources to spread their ideas. Alex lin and Malala changed the world.

One teen activist who made a big impact on the world is Alex Lin. Alex was born in Westerly, Rhode Island. When Alix was 11 he came across a news article about the massive piles of E-waste. That’s from electronics and computers that are generated around the world. Nobody knew about E-waste nobody cared. Alex decided to take action. At age 11 he gathered some friends and made a group called W.I.N, (Westerly, Innovations, Network). That way, they could help recycle computers while helping other ‘children from poorer countries have access to technology! They ended up transforming 300,000 pounds of e-waste into new computers for developing countries. Seeing that this was the perfect opportunity to translate their temporary success into a law, Lin met with Arthur Handy, the state representative sponsoring the e-waste bill for Rhode Island. Unfortunately, the bill banning e-waste did not pass.’ “We were all disappointed; we had put in all this time and they didn’t listen to us,” says Brodie, a friend of Lin’s. Alex and his team did not give up they said ‘ the way they did it was too complicated so they did it simply. Alex and his team sent out thousands of fliers and article’s they made radio announcements they even made presentations in front of both students and the town councils. After all of that hard work, it finally paid off in July, the House and Senate of Rhode Island passed the bill after seeing the 400 signatures on the petition banning e-waste dumping.

Alex Lin

Who was Alex Lin? Alex Lin was a 16-year-old boy when he started speaking out. The teen activist was born in 2001. He is from west early Rhode island. Alex Lin is now 19 years old and he is also speaking to this day. When he was in the 5th grade he had a group of friends to help him do everything he’s done over the years.

What did Alex Lins cause? Alex Lin was fighting to make avast illegal to dump into the waters of Road Island. Alex Lins state waters were very polluted. All the animals were dying because of the pollution in the water and on the land. Road Islands rivers, oceans, and seas were extremely polluted with trash. In 2007 America was throwing away 117,000 computers a day. Most of the trash was e-waste. E-waste is technology such as old computers, nonworking phones, and tablets. There are deadly chemicals in technology that spurs out when it’s in water. The chemicals are also killing the animals. Alex Lin made a group with his friends called WIN. The WIN stands for WesterlInnova Internet Network.

Where is Alex lin now? Alex LIn has already collected 300,000 pounds of e-waste out of the waters. Alex Lin made e-waste dumping illegal in Rhode Island. He has recycled e-waste into computers and is giving them to developing countries like Cameroon and Sira. These countries do not have as high technology as the U.S. does. Alex lin still lives in Road Island and goes to school. He and his friends still have the trash collecting fund open called WIN.

E-waste

Electrical and electronic (EE) appliances and devices have long been existing in the current world and started to be commercially and widely available to public consumption in the 1940s (States., Congress., House., Appropriations., & Defense., 1973). The usage of EE products naturally leaves a trail of discarded EE components, which are also commonly referred to as electronic waste, e-waste, or e-scrap. E-waste generated from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is commonly segregated into 3 groups: large household appliances (refrigerators and washing machines), information technology devices (personal computers, and laptops), and consumer equipment (TVs, DVD players, mobile phones). In 2014, a total amount of 41.8 metric kilotons of WEEE was generated globally.

WEEE contains a wide variety of elements – 50% iron and steel; 21% plastics; 13% non-ferrous metals and 16% other constituents (rubber, concrete, and ceramics) (Debnath, Roychowdhury, & Kundu, 2016). Among these elements, the majority of them are able to be recycled, in order to reduce mining and extraction of new resources from the earth. As mining researches and execution efforts reduce, energy and cost that would have been incurred for those projects could also be exempted.

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The current state of e-waste recycling is promising, with efforts practiced in most of the advancing countries. E-waste regulations have been successfully applied by Switzerland. In the efforts of managing the e-waste streams, the Ordinance “The Return, the Taking Back and the Disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (ORDEE) is announced by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) in 1998. A study by (Sinha-Khetriwal, Kraeuchi, & Schwaninger, 2005) found that the Swiss e-waste management system was successful in the high level of compliance, including stakeholders, distributors, users, and recyclers.

Japan’s mandated requirement for the recycling rate is 50–60% by weight. The funds for recycling are supported by both local government and manufacturers who are aware of and responsible for environmentally sound management (Nnorom & Osibanjo, 2008). The Specified Home Appliances Recycling (SHAR) Law and the Electric Household Appliance Recycling Law are the two main laws that Japan applies to manage e-waste. SHAR was developed to retrieve e-waste including large household appliances, while the latter handles personal computers and used batteries (Chung & Murakami-Suzuki, 2008). Home appliances were taken back by retailers or second-hand shops according to the flow in figure 1.

The E-waste recycling industry has a significant number of challenges, which the primary one being e-waste exports. E-waste contains hazardous and toxic materials which are detrimental to the health of the workers who dismantle electronic devices without adequate environmental controls. The inadequate management of electronics recycling in developing countries has also led to environmental problems. Improper disposal and recycling of e-waste could cause detrimental harm to the environment over a span of duration. While there are more than 1000 toxic substances (Puckett et al., 2002) associated with e-waste, the more commonly reported substances include toxic metals (such as barium (Ba), beryllium (Be), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co) and more.

The decreasing quality of e-waste has also been a concern, even though the volume of e-waste recollection has improved. Devices are getting smaller and smaller, containing less precious metal, hence causing the monetary values of end-of-life EE products to dip. Electronics recyclers have suffered from lower profit margins due to underperforming global prices of recycled commodities, hence leading to undesirable business performances and closures.

Problems also arise as many products are made to not be easily recyclable, repairable, or reusable. Organizations such as The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) have been active in promoting policies to broaden the range of authorized companies allowed to repair and refurbish smartphones to avoid their needless destruction. The current rate or level of e-waste recycling of 15%–18% is insufficient, it has much room for improvement as most e-waste still is commonly distributed to the landfill.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries have supported the principle of e-waste programs whereas many non-OECD countries are proposing extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs for e-waste. India is a non-OECD country and has an enormous e-waste recycling sector (Manomaivibool, 2009). The Indian government drafted guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of e-waste, with aid from the Central Pollution Control Board in 2007. Manomaivibool, 2009 found that e-waste management in India was possibly driven by the EPR principal policy. However, illegal imports of e-waste and the existence of black markets for EE devices have been alarming. Thailand is another non-OECD country to develop policies and follow EPR lessons learned from OECD countries. Manomaivibool provided the details of the EPR program for the Thai e-waste policy proposal. The findings displayed that EPR is one of the aims of the Thai national integrated strategy. Thailand applies a product fee system to buy back e-waste. As an encouragement, a financial incentive is provided to the end-consumers for e-waste collection to redistribute material onto the recycling sector.

Currently, 25 U.S. states have laws mandating state-wide e-waste recycling, and several more states are working toward passing new legislation and improving the existing policy. State e-waste recycling laws cover 65% of the U.S. population, E-waste is also banned from landfills in some states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, and Indiana.

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