Here are just a few reasons:
- The nation now dumps between 300 million and 400 million electronic items per year, and less than 20% of that e-waste is recycled.
- E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste. The extreme amount of lead in electronics alone causes damage in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the blood and the kidneys.
- Because computer processing power doubles roughly every two years, many old computers are being abandoned. Only 15% recycle their computers, which means the other 85% end up in landfills.
- It’s energy efficient to rebuild old computers, but only about 2% of PCs ever find their way to a second user.
- About 50 million cell phones are replaced worldwide a month, and only 10% are recycled. If we recycled just a million cell phones, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 1,368 cars off the road for a year.
- Flat panel computer monitors and notebooks often contain small amounts of mercury in the bulbs used to light them.
- Cathode ray tubes in older TVs and computers typically contain about 4 lbs of lead and sometimes as much as 7 lbs.