9 Facts That You Will Never Know About E Waste Recycling
It is only human nature to want the latest electronic gadgets as soon as they’re released to the public. Additionally, retailers incentivize their customers to upgrade their phones and devices frequently.
But what about our old devices? More often than not, we either throw them away or place them in a drawer, wait a few months, and discard them when we have been unable to resell them. The trash generated by throwing away old electronics is referred to as “e-waste.” Unfortunately, this practice has had a serious impact on the environment and human health.
Below are 9 useful facts and figures pertaining to e waste recycling, intended to inspire large and small business owners to make changes in how they process waste:
1. A lot of electronics are thrown away before they are scrapped
Most users only keep a cell phone for 18 months before they upgrade to a newer version, which aids in producing a great deal of e-waste. A large number of what is labeled as “e-waste” is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery.
2. The cost of electronics
Producing a computer along with its monitor takes at least 1.5 tons of water, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 530 pounds of fossil fuels.
3. E-waste is toxic
Many of the devices that we throw away contain lead, cadmium, mercury, flame retardants, and beryllium. Due to improper disposal practices, these hazardous materials spill from the devices and leach into the ground. From this exposure, harmful chemicals contaminate groundwater and lead to both cancer and organ damage if consumed through taps.
4. A huge amount of e-waste is thrown away every year
20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year. The United States is the biggest producer of e-waste. Every year, US residents and businesses discard approximately 100 million cell phones, over 41 million computers, and over 20 million TV sets by throwing them into landfills when they become broken or outdated.
5. E-waste is the world’s fastest-growing trash source.
A record 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019, up 21 per cent in just five years, according to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020. The report also predicts global e-waste – discarded products with a battery or plug – will reach 74 Mt by 2030, almost a doubling of e-waste in just 16 years.
6. E-waste has high recycling value
By recycling 1 million cell phones, more than 35,000 pounds of copper, 33 pounds of palladium, 772 pounds of silver, and 75 pounds of gold can be recovered.
7. Only a small amount of e-waste is recycled
Only 20% of e-waste is documented to have been collected and recycled, despite high-value recoverable materials such as copper and gold.
8. Recycling e-waste can create jobs
While reusing and recycling electronic devices can save on energy consumption across the map, the task still requires people to perform labor and logistics. Because of this, e-waste recycling can be a significant economic benefit since producing 10,000 tons of recycled material can create as many as 300 new jobs.
9. E-waste accounts for 70% of toxic waste production
E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste.
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