Electronic waste is discarded electronic or electrical equipment and devices. Used electronics which are intended for reuse, salvage, resale, disposal or recycling are also referred to as e-waste. Informal or unorganised processing of e-waste particularly in developing nations can affect human health adversely and also cause environmental pollution.

Electronic scrap materials like CPUs consist of possibly harmful substances like lead, beryllium, cadmium or brominated flame retardants. The recycling and disposal of such electronic waste involved great risk to the workers and communities in developing nations. A lot of care must be taken to prevent hazardous exposure in recycling operations. Care must also be taken to prevent the leaking of harmful materials such as heavy metals from incinerator ashes and landfills.

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