Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Recycling and Disposal
The EPA reports that over 112,000 computers are discarded every single day, and that’s just in the U.S. We toss more than 100 million cell phones in the trash every year. That’s 41.1 million desktops and laptop computers per year. On top of that 20 million TVs are trashed in the U.S. every year. This is causing a terrible problem for our environment, our landfills, our drinking water, earth and the ozone layer.
In these gadget-driven days, consumers and businesses are constantly in the upgrade mode. Most people don’t think about the repercussions of buying the “latest and greatest” technology.
Companies and their marketing teams spend a great deal of money making sure that we’re hungry for the next iPad, Xbox, Laptop, Tablet or LED TV. While our hunger for electronics and newer technology keeps growing, our used electronics are piling up at a staggering rate. The statistics and trends are startling:
A recent Gartner report says, “Worldwide IT Spending on Pace to Reach $3.8 Trillion in 2014, we continue to anticipate consistent four to five percent annual growth through 2017”.
A recent United Nations report suggests that in some countries, production of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), which includes obsolete computers, monitors, mobile phones, and T.V.’s could rise by as much as 500% over the next decade.
This is all going to take our current E-Waste problem and turn it into a full blown epidemic unless we reduce, reuse and recycle.
What happens when E-Waste is incinerated or dumped in a landfill?
Electronic waste from equipment of all sizes includes dangerous chemicals like lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury, PCB’s and brominated flame retardants. When we dispose of gadgets and devices improperly, these hazardous materials have a high risk of polluting the air, contaminating soil, and leaching into water sources. These substances are highly toxic and carcinogenic. When carelessly handled, they contaminate our food and water supply and enter into the food chain. Burning of these products causes toxic fumes to be emitted. This further depletes the ozone layer, as well as creating the potential of inhalation by humans and animals.
When e-waste sits in a typical landfill, for example, water flows through the landfill and picks up trace elements from these dangerous minerals. Eventually the contaminated landfill water, called “leachate,” gets through the layers of natural and manufactured landfill liner and other protection. When it reaches natural groundwater, it introduces high doses of lethal toxicity.
The health risks associated with this can range from kidney disease and brain damage to genetic mutations. Scientists confirmed that Guiyu, China, (an E-Waste Dumping ground) has the highest levels of cancer-causing dioxins in the world. Seven out of ten children in the villages of Guiyu have far too much lead in their bodies with 82% of the population testing positive for lead poisoning. The drinking water is so contaminated there the villagers have to truck in water from other towns.
There is no reason for this kind of poisoning of the earth to be happening. We all just need to commit to keeping E-Waste out of our landfills and to being adamant about recycling responsibly.
All Goods Electronics Inc. is committed to making the world a better place by responsibly recycling electronic surplus.