Recycle Your E-Waste

Electronic waste, or “e-waste,” is a term used to describe any electronic device that is outdated, obsolete, broken, donated, discarded, or at the end of its useful life. This includes cell phones, computers, laptops, PDAs, monitors, televisions, printers, scanners, and any other electrical device. 

 

With the rapid expansion of technology, combined with the relatively short shelf life of many present day electronic devices, more and more e-waste is generated each year. Often, these discarded devices end up in landfills or are incinerated, which can cause major environmental problems in our communities.

 

Many of the materials found in electronic devices are extremely hazardous. These include lead, mercury, and cadmium. When these electronics end up in landfills, many of these chemicals leach into the soil during rainfall or are released into the atmosphere when burned. These chemicals can have dangerous impacts on the health of plants and animals and when inhaled can lead to serious respiratory problems. Fortunately, the simple solution to limiting the dangerous effects of careless e-waste disposal is safe and responsible recycling. 

 

Each year, the United States alone produces up to 50 million tons of e-waste. Of this, only 20-25% is recycled safely and responsibly. The other 75% ends up in landfills. As a direct consequence, hazardous materials found in this waste routinely contaminate our air and water supplies. By safely and responsibly recycling your e-waste, you can help protect your community and the ecosystem from these dangerous chemicals.

 

We encourage you to collect all of your old electronic materials and take them to an e-waste recycling facility to make sure they are properly handled. Earth Day Network is proud to partner with recycling services provider E-Stewards to make this easy for you. Log on to their website and put in your zip-code to find the closest E-Waste recycling facility.