The Latest Facts about Electronics Recycling
According to experts, nearly 100% of e-waste is recyclable. Unfortunately, this number is far greater than the percentage of people and industries that are committed to electronics recycling. And as technology moves along at warp speeds, more and more electronic waste finds its way into our landfills. This means that more of the toxic elements that comprise many electronic devices seep into our soil. Already, e-waste is having a catastrophic effect on many third world countries such as Brazil and many parts of Africa and Asia. The following facts are presented to you in order to inspire you to act in ways that help mitigate the damage caused by e-waste.
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we currently recycle only 8% of our cell phones, 17% of TVs, and 38% of computers.
- According to the EPA recycling just one million cell phones would produce 20,000 pounds of copper, 550 pounds of silver, 20 pounds of palladium, and 50 pounds of gold.
- A recent study concludes that it takes 530 lbs of fossil fuel, 48 lbs of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water in order to produce a single computer and monitor.
- The United States is the producer of more e-waste than any other country on earth. We produce 9.4 million tons of e-waste a year.
- The good news is that we do not keep all of our e-waste in this country. The bad news is that in 2014 we shipped 41.8 million metric tons of e-waste to developing countries. This is creating a health crisis for people in the third world.
- Guiyu, China is a one of the biggest dumping grounds for e-waste from the United States.
- Forty-percent of the heavy metal in our landfills is from discarded electronics that could have been recycled.