electronic waste

E-waste refers to old computers, dead cell phones, old tablets and smartphones, even old television sets and any kind of obsolete technology that is thrown in the trash instead of recycled.

In many places it is illegal to throw away your old electronic devices because they contain significant amounts of hazardous chemicals, and because they are clogging landfills. For example, the picture tube in a TV or a computer monitor typically contains 3 to 5 pounds of lead, and electronic circuit boards have additional lead, cadmium and mercury.

A few computer facts as seen in The Week: An estimated 1,600 computers become obsolete in the state of Washington alone every day; 20% of the weight in the glass of a computer monitor is lead; computers and other e-waste account for 70 percent of heavy metals, including toxic mercury and cadmium, in U.S. landfills; as much as 80% of e-waste from the U.S. is shipped to developing nations in Asia.

Historical perspective: According to Bloomberg in 2014, e-waste recycling is set to become a $100 billion annual global business as legislation catches up forcing companies to act responsibly. Many analysts expect the e-waste recovery industry to grow faster than any other waste stream over the five years. In 2015, Apple 2,204 pounds of gold, worth $40 million, from recycled iPhones, iPads, and Macs through its e-waste recovery program. According to CNN, of the 90 million pounds of total e-waste that the company collected, including steel, silver, copper, and glass, 61 million pounds of material were reusable.

See also : space junk  
NetLingo Classification: Net Hardware