11 FACTS ABOUT E-WASTE

With electronic recycling becoming increasingly crucial to the future of the planet, recovering mobile phones, and recycling old computers, televisions, printers and other electronic goods should be a priority for those that want to improve their ecological footprint. When considering the importance of e-waste recycling, it’s worth remembering some of the more shocking electronic recycling facts from around the world, which illustrate the ongoing need for everyone to make an effort to conserve and properly recycle their electronic items.  At Turtle Wings, our year round focus is on creating green communities by offering certified and compliant electronics recycling services as well as staying informed of the statistics and facts relevant to the electronics recycling industry.  Turtle Wings has identified the following 11 facts about e-waste to pass along to our many customers and readers:

  1. 80 to 85% of electronic products were discarded in landfills or incinerators, which can release certain toxics into the air.

  2. E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste. The extreme amount of lead in electronics alone causes damage in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the blood and the kidneys.

  3. 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year.

  4. 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.

  5. Only 12.5% of e-waste is currently recycled.

  6. 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.

  7. Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year.

  8. E-waste is still the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America, according to the EPA.

  9. 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.

  10. It takes 539 lbs. of fossil fuel, 48 lbs. of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.

  11. 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.

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