E-Waste Recycling Facts and Figures

E-Waste Recycling Facts and Figures

E-Waste Recycling Facts and Figures

Recycling is very familiar

Everyone knows what recycling means. They may not know what e-waste is or what constitutes e-scrap recycling. When you hear the term e-waste, all the speaker is referring to are those products that use a plug or a battery.

These products can be any large or small kitchen appliance or your computer, laptop, or iPad. Because there are so many toxic ingredients involved in making these appliances and electronic devices is has become vital to establish top recycling programs.

What percent of e-waste is recycled?

If you are not aware of it, there are precious metals involved in making these appliances and electronic products. Gold and copper are very valuable yet their presence in these devices does not inspire anyone to recycle their e-waste products.

Currently, only about 20% of all the appliances and electronic devices made are being recycled. This puts our environment at risk because there are other dangerous ingredients used to make these items.

The 80% that is not recycled make up about 2% of the items sent to the landfill which is quite high.

E-waste accounts for what percentage of toxic waste

Along with gold and copper, there are other materials used to create the different appliances and electronic devices. The different manufacturing companies use lead, cadmium, mercury, flame retardants, and beryllium and these materials are very hazardous to your health as well as the health of the environment.

Believe it or not, the electronic waste products are thrown away a total of about 70% of all the toxic products thrown into our landfills. This is a disturbing statistic as this amount of e-waste is putting too many toxic materials back into the water and ground supply.

E-waste facts

  1. making 1 computer and monitor- to make these electronic devices a company uses 1.5 tons of water, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 530 pounds of fossil fuels
  2. it is the fastest-growing garbage source- in one year alone, 50 million tons of e-waste were tossed into the landfills. This figure should rise by 14% soon
  3. create jobs- recycling 10,000 tons of e-waste can help create 300 jobs
  4. cellphones are a big problem- cell phone users upgrade to a new cell phone every 18 to 24 months and most just toss their old ones away
  5. America by itself- the consumers in this country throw away over 100,000,000 cell phones, 41,000,000 computers, and 21,000,000 television sets every year

Recycling electronics facts

When you buy a new phone, computer, or television set, you should ask the retailer If they will accept your old electronic devices for recycling. there are many that do and it never hurts to ask.

When you recycle, you reduce the wasting of valuable raw materials that can be reused to make new electronic devices and appliances. Those raw materials can amount to 35,000 pounds of copper, 33 pounds of palladium, 772 pounds of silver, and 75 pounds of gold saved for another day.

Those totals come from recycling only 1 million cellphones. Those figures should go higher when you add in different electronic devices in the recycling program.

Devices that become e-waste

These devices are not in short supply nor is the list very short. Cell phones are the most obvious electronic device that is thrown away every year. Then you can add in laptops, computers, notebooks as well as MP3 players and similar devices.

But the list is not limited to those items as the modern television sets are also included as are most kitchen appliances that have electronics installed n them. Toasters, coffee makers, and so on, all contribute to the landfill problem and the wasting of the raw materials that went into making them.

As long as it uses a battery or has a power cord attached, it is on the list which means even your electric toothbrush is on this list.

Electronic waste recycling

Most of the facts just come from one country. It is much worse on a global scale as Japan has only recycled about 26% of the approx. 2100 kilotonnes of e-waste it produces annually.

The United Kingdom produces about 24.9 kilograms or almost 60 pounds of e-waste per person per year. The Asian per person total only reaches 4.2 kilograms or about 10 pounds of e-waste per person.

The good news is that 67 countries have implemented legislation to help handle this waste problem.

Some final words

Hardly anyone gives it a second thought of what goes into making a computer or monitor. When these items break or go out of date, one just replaces them and tosses the others away.

This lack of thought is what creates the problem. Strong recycling programs are needed to make sure the harm to the environment and to people is minimalized.

Additional resource