Unwanted computers, monitors, TVs, printers, keyboards and mice – referred to as electronic waste or “e-waste" – is the fastest growing waste stream in the U.S. With technology constantly changing, we replace our electronics every few years. In 2007 alone, Americans generated about 232 million units of computer and TV-related e-waste, only 18 percent of which was recycled. In addition, it's estimated that 235 million more units are stored in our basements, closets and garages.
E-cycling is a better option than disposal because...
E-cycling conserves natural resources
Electronics contain valuable materials – including copper, gold and aluminum – that can be recycled and used in new products. Recycling these materials prevents the need to extract virgin materials, conserving natural resources.
Did You Know? According to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, one metric ton of e-waste from computers contains more gold than that recovered from 17 tons of gold ore.
E-cycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions
Using recycled materials consumes less energy than using virgin materials to make new products. Because less energy is consumed, less greenhouse gases are emitted.
Did You Know? The U.S. EPA estimates that recycling one million computers prevents the release of greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual emissions of over 17,000 cars.
E-cycling protects our health and environment
Electronics contain a host of hazardous substances. Even small amounts of these toxics can be dangerous if released into the air, water and soil. E-cycling protects our health and environment by keeping these substances out of our landfills and incinerators.
Did You Know? According to the U.S. EPA, 40 percent of lead and 70 percent of other toxics found in landfills – including mercury, cadmium and polybrominated flame retardants - are from electronics.