What is Electronic waste?
Electronic waste is a term used to describe electronic devices that are unwanted or obsolete; essentially they are electronics that have reached the end of their useful life. Old computers, monitors, printers, telecommunication equipment, video game consoles, servers, and more can all be considered electronic waste. As technology advances quickly, electronic devices can become “trash” after only a few years.
Why should you recycle?
In 2014, 11.7 million tons of electronic waste was generated in the United States. However, only 15-20% of all electronic waste are recycled.
Unrecycled electronic waste can end up in an incinerator or a landfill. Electronics burned in an incinerator can lead to green house gas emission and toxic gas emission. Electronics in a landfill can lead to the leeching of toxic metals and chemicals. By recycling these electronics, we can help the environment.
Another benefit of recycling is the salvaging of metals already in the electronic device. By salvaging the resources in these electronic devices, we eliminate the need to take the resources directly from the earth. In fact, according to the EPA it is possible to recover up to 20,000 lbs of copper and other metals by recycling a million cell phones.
There is no question that recycling electronic waste can lead to a safer, healthier, greener environment.