Digital Signage and its Contribution to E-waste

Waste from electronics is becoming a serious concern across the globe. Discarded computers, monitors, mobile phones and monitors are piling up in countries in China, Africa and the Sub-continent.

It is estimated within the next 10 years the amount of electronic waste being dumped in countries like this is expected to increase five fold as the exponential rate technology advances causes more and more devices to be discarded as they are replaced for more advanced models.

Digital signage too is contributing to e-waste. Whilst LCD screens and plasmas are not discarded in working condition (unlike computers with over 90% of them thrown away being in perfect working order) but are usually thrown away once the device fails.

However, because of the dramatically falling cost of LCDs and plasma TVs, little effort is ever put into attempting to expand the life of digital signage systems. And even for outdoor digital signage where the devices have to be waterproofed, other consideration into ensuring the device continues to work properly, such as air flow systems, are very rarely thought of.

The consequence is that millions of tonnes of LCD screens and other digital signage systems end’s up on the shores of developing nations causing an environmental hazard.

However, with adequate protection, a modern LCD or plasma screen can last three, four or even five times longer than normal if it is enclosed in an adequate LCD enclosure.

Apart from protecting the LCD or plasma from rain and dust, allowing their use outdoors or in industrial locations, a good quality LCD enclosure will also provide the perfect optimum working condition for a digitals sign. Air flow systems will control temperature, whilst surge protectors ensure the LCD can’t be damaged by spikes or power surges.

In extremely hot environments, even air conditioning can be installed as can heaters in cooler climates. By ensuring the enclosure housing a digital signage system is of the best quality possible and is providing the perfect working conditions for the LCD, then there is no reason why the device shouldn’t be functioning in ten years time.

If all digital signage systems were housed in a good quality LCD or plasma enclosure then the amount of E-waste we are expected to produce over the next few years will be dramatically reduced.

This post was written by Richard N Williams

Richard N Williams

Richard N Williams is a writer and journalist based in Birmingham, UK. He has many years of experience writing about all aspects of the internet and digital technology. He is the author of several technology related books and his articles have appeared in various publications, trade magazines and online journals. Richard N Williams Google+

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