Electronic Waste - The Problem

computerBy one estimate, close to 2 million TVs and computers become obsolete each year in Washington.  If not reused or recycled, these obsolete electronics turn into millions of pounds of e-waste containing lead, mercury, brominated flame retardants, and other toxic substances.  For example, monitors and televisions made with cathode ray tubes (not flat panels) each contain between 3 and 8 pounds of lead. 

The Basel Action Network estimates that as much as 50% to 80% of e-waste that is collected for recycling in the U.S. is shipped to developing nations for dismantling - often in unhealthy, unsafe conditions that are harmful to people, communities, and the environment. 

Electronic equipment should be reused or recycled – not disposed, dumped illegally, or exported to developing nations.  Computers and TVs contain valuable materials such as glass, metals and plastic that can be recovered through recycling.  One ton of old computers has as much gold in it as 17 tons of gold ore. 

Learn more about the problems with e-waste

Last Updated (Thursday, 12 August 2010 15:53)