toxic computer

5 Toxic Materials in E-waste

E-waste is a growing threat to our environment. When people throw out their electronics they often aren’t aware of the consequences of doing so. Electronics contain toxic materials that cause long lasting damage to our environment. The best way to stop these toxicities from harming the environment is by keeping electronics out of landfills. Orlando Recycles is committed to keeping electronics out of landfills through electronic recycling, reselling, and disposing of end of life products properly. When you decide to partner with Orlando Recycles for your electronics removal you are doing a service to your community and the environment. Below is a list of toxic materials that are in your electronics. After better understanding what the toxic materials do to our environment, you will recognize the importance of disposing your electronic materials.


Mercury is perhaps the most problematic element that is released when electronics enter a landfill. The reason this element poses such a threat to the environment is that it affects the environment’s soil, air, and water.  Mercury is present in most electronics because of its excellent conduction of electricity. When electronics enter a landfill the mercury is released during the decomposition process which activates the toxicities. When the mercury evaporates into methane it becomes dimethyl-mercury and is more toxic. The World Health Organization lists mercury exposure as having harmful effects on the nervous, digestive, and immune systems. They also can fatally harm the kidneys & lungs.  With the ability to expose humans through the air, water, or soil it’s not hard to understand why proper handling of E-waste containing mercury is so important.


One of most notorious issues with E-waste is lead poisoning. Lead poisoning causes permanent neural damage, anemia, reproductive issues, and in certain cases death. When lead enters a landfill, the main cause for concern is water runoff. When this water runoff happens and lead enters a water supply it can spell disaster for the surrounding community as well as the marine ecosystem. Lead is prevalent in almost all electronics; however CRT monitors and televisions cause large amounts of lead pollution. CRTs contain so much lead it’s not only dangerous to dispose of them in a landfill but it is dangerous for people to disassemble them as well. That is why Orlando Recycles will not take any CRT monitors or televisions. However, if you are looking to properly dispose of a CRT we will point you in the right direction of where to do so. 


Arsenic is another element that is notorious for its lethal properties. Much like lead, when arsenic is exposed to drinking water it can devastate the human body. Exposure to arsenic can cause cancer in your skin, bladder, lungs, and kidneys. When this element is inhaled this also can cause lung cancer. Arsenic is prevalent in any piece of technology with a computer chips. This makes arsenic one of the most abundant toxic elements under the E-waste umbrella.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride, more commonly known as PVC, is used as plastic coating for wires in almost all electronics. Because it’s not a chemical element like other e-waste materials, some people put items such as PVC in their own subcategory of E-waste called “E-plastics”. Nonetheless PVC poses major problems to our environment. Landfills occasionally catch fire, whether it’s involuntary or if they are doing an incineration process. When PVC is set on fire it releases hydrogen chloride gas into the environment. When humans are exposed to hydrogen chloride it irritates the lungs and can cause irreversible damage.

Electronic recycling companies have a difficult time recycling PVC because it’s mainly found in the wire coating of electronics.  The easiest way for an electronic recycling company to properly recycle PVC is by reselling it. This still keeps the PVC out of the landfills and assuresits harmful effects don’t occur. If the electronic has reached its end of life Orlando Recycles will still break the item down to its component parts and assure it does not end up in a landfill.

Now that you have a better understanding of some of the toxic elements that are in your electronics we hope you realize the importance of proper electronic removal. Orlando Recycles makes your disposal process as easy as possible by offering you free pickup & evaluation. In some cases we even pay you for your products. Call 407-273-1395 today to schedule your free pickup.