E-Waste or electronic waste are the disposed electronic devices. As a company that focuses mainly on electronics, I have a duty to help spread the word of this growing problem. Not only does the waste harm the environment, but the metals themselves are valuable. Below are 11 facts about e-waste I find especially interesting. Courtesy of dosomething.org.
- In 2009, discarded TVs, computers, peripherals (including printers, scanners, fax machines) mice, keyboards, and cell phones totaled about 2.37 million short tons.
- E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste.
- 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year.
- Cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver. Americans dump phones containing over $60 million in gold/silver every year.
- A large number of what is labeled as “e-waste” is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery.
- Only 12.5% of e-waste is currently recycled.
- For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, 35,274 lbs of copper, 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium can be recovered.
- Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year.
- E-waste is still the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America, according to the EPA.
- It takes 530 lbs of fossil fuel, 48 lbs of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.
- Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include, but are not limited to: Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes, LCD desktop monitors, LCD televisions, Plasma televisions, Portable DVD players with LCD screens.
If you have any e-waste that needs disposal, take it to a reputable recycling location. Help out your future humans. We will also take any e-waste you need recycled, and will actually buy any empty toner cartridges you want to get rid of.