Do Something About the Waste!!!
As Christmas approached many people will receive new televisions, computers and cells phones. Instead of throwing them in the trash take a look at what e-waste is and DO SOMETHING about it!!
- The nation now dumps between 300 million and 400 million electronic items per year, and less than 20% of that e-waste is recycled.
- 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.
- Because computer processing power doubles roughly every two years, many old computers are being abandoned. Only 15% recycle their computers, which means the other 85% end up in landfills.
- It’s energy efficient to rebuild old computers, but only about 2% of PCs ever find their way to a second user.
- About 50 millions cell phones are replaced worldwide a month, and only 10% are recycled. If we recycled just a million cell phones, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 1,368 cars off the road for a year.
- Flat panel computer monitors and notebooks often contain small amounts of mercury in the bulbs used to light them.
- Cathode ray tubes in older TVs and computers typically contain about 4 lbs of lead and sometimes as much as 7 lbs.
- The European Union banned e-waste from landfills in the 1990s, and current laws hold manufacturers responsible for e-waste disposal.
- Large amounts of e-waste have been sent to countries such as China, India and Kenya, where lower environmental standards and working conditions make processing e-waste more profitable. Around 80 % of the e-waste in the U.S. is exported to Asia.
- E-waste legislation in the United States is currently stalled at the state level. Just 24 states have passed or proposed take-back laws. However, as of January 1, 2011, covered electronics are completely banned in West Virginia.
- 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
- Laptop computers with LCD displays
- LCD televisions
- Plasma televisions
- Portable DVD players with LCD screens.