E-Waste Facts That May Surprise You

Is e-waste a problem in the United States? Here are some e-waste facts about our country alone. 

What Percent of E-Waste is Recycled?

In the year 2008, we generated 3.16 million tons of e-waste. We only recycled 13.6% or it, says the EPA. E-waste will continue to increase, as consumer electronics are developing a shorter shelf-life, and because of a societal desire to have the “next best gadget.”

Where Does the Majority of the E-Waste End Up?

In the year 2012, we generated twenty billion pounds of e-waste, sending the majority to landfills.

So, to answer your question with facts about e-waste, it is indeed a problem here, and a growing one. Read on to discover some fascinating e waste facts that will hopefully encourage you to get involved.

What Environmental Effects are we Starting to See from the Dumping of E-Waste?

  • E-waste comprises only two percent of U.S. trash in landfills, but equals seventy percent of overall toxic waste.
  • Americans dump phones containing over sixty million dollars in gold and silver every year.
  • Recycling one million laptops saves enough energy to power 3,657 United States homes in a year.
  • “The United States and China are the world’s biggest producers of electronic waste and most of the home appliances, computers and smartphones they toss out are never recycled.”
  • E-waste is the fastest growing stream of municipal waste in the U.S.
  • The United States pledged to reduce its emissions by twenty six to twenty eight percent by 2025 in November 2014
  • In the year 2010, the United States produced about three million tons of e-waste.
  • Sixty eight percent of Americans stockpile electronics
  • About eighty percent of e-waste in the United States is exported to Asia.

E-waste Facts about the world

  • 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year.
  • By 2017, the amount of discarded e-products throughout the world is projected to be thirty three percent higher than in 2012, and will weight the equivalent of eight of the Great Egyptian Pyramids.
  • The amount of e-waste being produced could rise by as much as five hundred percent throughout the next decade in particular countries, for example, India.
  • Twenty to fifty million tons of e-Waste are generated worldwide every year.
  • Three hundred million computers and one billion cell phones are produced every year. This is expected to grow by eight percent every year, indefinitely.

How Much E Waste Could Be Recycled?

  • A large amount of what we call e-waste is not actually waste at all, but whole electronic equipment or parts that can be readily available for reuse or can be recycled for materials. Only 12.5 percent of e-waste is recycled currently.
  • For every one million cellular phones we recycle, 33,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be restored from the material.
  • To manufacture a single computer and monitor, it takes five hundred and thirty pounds of fossil fuel, 1.5 tons of water and forty eight pounds of chemicals.
  • Electronic devices that are considered to be hazardous to our health include televisions and computer monitors, LCD televisions, Plasma TVs, and portable DVD players with LCD screens.

It does not take too much effort to take care of your electronic waste responsibly. After reading these e-waste facts, hopefully you’ll do your part to pitch in!


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