E-waste stands for Electronic waste in full. In basic terms, it refers to all kinds of electrical and electronic equipment that could enter or has already entered the waste stream.
Electronic waste is a very general term but is mainly considered to cover computers, mobile phones, televisions, and many household appliances. This field is growing rapidly because the companies producing these electronics and electrical equipment are increasing their production to meet demand as more and more countries cross over to the digital world.
However, electronic waste poses a risk to human existence to say the least and therefore something has to be done. You may not be a computer recycling company, but once you read the following facts, you will be moved to take whatever little action you can:
· Even though this waste amounts to only 2% of trash in America’s landfill, it equals more than 70% of the overall toxic waste. Electronics contain huge amounts of lead, which can cause significant damage in the peripheral, and central nervous systems, the kidneys and the blood.
· A large percentage of what you see labelled as e-waste is not actually electronic waste but complete electronic equipment and parts, which can be recycled or reused by other people and have a ready market.
· Mobile phones and other electronic equipment contain precious metals such as silver and gold. What is even more shocking is that, American dump cell phones containing precious metals worth over $60 million each year.
· Americans discard nearly 85% of electronics they are not using anymore into incinerators or landfills, which in turn release toxics into the atmosphere. When inhaled, these toxics cause harm to the body resulting into poor health and high medical bills.
· For every 1,000,000 cell phones a recycling company recycles, it can recover 33 lbs of palladium, 75 lbs of gold, 772 lbs of silver, and more than 35,000 of copper. These metals can then be used sold and/or used for other purposes.
· Recycling a million laptops can save energy equal to electricity 3657 homes will use in America each year. However, the electronic waste that recyclers are currently able to recycle is about 12.5%.
· Each year, people and companies dispose 20 to 50 million of metric tons of electronic waste, which contributes to poor health, and damages the environment.
· Manufacturing on monitor and one computer uses up 1.5 tons of water, 48 lbs of chemicals, and more than 530 lbs of fossil fuel.