The rise in technology has resulted in some amazing products — ultra-thin computers, tiny smart phones, flatter televisions. However, these advancements don’t come without a price. According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Americans now own approximately 24 electronic products per household.
When we no longer want any of those products, it becomes e-waste. And it refers to the millions of electronic products that are discarded into landfills each year.
In 2006, an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of e-waste was generated, 44 million pounds of which were TVs and computers.
The EPA reports that over 112,000 computers are discarded every single day. That’s 41.1 million desktops and laptop computers per year. And that’s just here in the U.S. not including computer monitors.
20 million TVs are trashed in the U.S. every year and 100 million cell phones.
About 75 percent of retired computers in the United States are in storage, 15 percent are in landfills, and only about 10 percent are recycled.
Less than 5 percent of all personal computers are donated to schools, charities or non-profits.
E-waste is growing at three times the rate of municipal waste.
According to the UN Environment Programme, the worldwide total for e-waste could be 50 million tons per year, and only 13 percent of electronic waste is disposed and recycled properly.
The good news is that the majority of these products can be recycled or reused, preserving much-needed room in landfills and minimizing the amount of new materials being manufactured.
StEP is an initiative of various UN organizations with the overall aim to solve the e-waste problem. Together with prominent members from industry, governments, international organizations, NGOs and academia actively participating in StEP, we work toward the sustainable handling of e-waste.
E-Cycling and E-Donation.
While steps can be taken to safely dispose of e-waste, it is much better for our communities to donate or recycle old electronics.
In fact, 99 percent of materials from electronics can be recycled or reused, including glass, copper, plastic, aluminum, gold, silica, silver and steel.
Plus, donating old computers, TVs, cell phones and other electronics not only benefits the environment, it betters your community by enhancing the lives of many people in your area.
For e-waste disposal options in your area, visit www.earth911.com.
E-Waste Recycling and Donation Links:
Cell Phone Recycling Links:
Cell Phone Donation Links:
Computer Donation Links:
Computers For Schools The Computers for Schools Program welcomes contribution of quality computer equipment and support dollars to accomplish their refurbishing work from donors across the nation.
Electronics Industry Alliance The EIA maintains a listing of organizations nationwide that accept donations of electronic products.
Goodwill Includes tips on where and how to donate computers.
National Cristina Foundation The NCF provides computer technology and solutions to give people with disabilities, students at risk and economically disadvantaged persons the opportunity, through training, to lead more independent and productive lives.
EAL Works! Educational Assistance Ltd. turns excess inventory, gently used equipment, services and other donations into college scholarships for needy students.