What Happens To Our E-Waste?

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Something that the electronics manufacturers don’t want you to hear (with their new green images to cultivate), and something you won’t hear from the majority of the big green blogs nowadays (some of whom are now funded by the electronics giants and peddling the party line)….

TOTAL E-WASTE: 3 Million Tons

In 2007, the US generated a total of 3.01 million tons of electronic waste, according to the EPA1.

TRASHED: 86.4% 2.6 Million Tons
Of this 3,010,000 tons, 2,600,000 tons (over 86%) ends up in landfills or incinerators.

RECYCLED: 13.6% 410,000 Tons
Only 410,000 tons, or 13.6% is “recovered” for recycling, according to the EPA. But some recyclers estimate that as much as 50 to 80% of that amount is exported for processing elsewhere, much of it going to developing countries, particularly in Asia.

Green Electronics is a myth

E-Waste Growth Trends

Amount of E-Waste Trashed Vs Recycled (Tons) 2000 – 2007
While the total volume of e-waste generated in the US is steadily increasing, the percent that is diverted for recycling is not keeping pace with that growth. In 2007, we only diverted 13.6% of total discarded e-waste into recycling.

The rise of ewaste 2000-2007

Source: US EPA, Municipal Solid Waste In the United States, 2007 Facts and Figures, November 2008. http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw07-rpt.pdf

Definitions:

E-WASTE: The EPA report defines e-waste as products such as TVs, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras, stereo systems, telephones, and computer equipment.

RECYCLED: Products separated out from waste stream for recycling. This includes e-waste that is exported by recyclers.

TRASHED: Items not “recovered” are disposed into landfills, incinerators, or waste-to-energy incinerators.

Not Included: These numbers do not include products which are no longer used, but placed into storage.

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