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: In 2015, Apple generated 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.

In 2019, four companies—Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestlé, and Danone—produce 6 million tons of plastic waste every year, according to CBS News. Coca-Cola alone produces 3 million tons, but plans to make all of its packaging recyclable within six years.

See also : space junk  
NetLingo Classification: Net Hardware