We love getting new electronic devices. And the holidays are a great time to give and receive them. But that means getting rid of the old ones.
E-waste, or electronic waste, is a growing problem globally, as well as in the U.S. and it is only getting worse.
A good description of "e-waste" can be found at Wikipedia,
"Electronic waste or e-waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for refurbishment, reuse, resale, salvage recycling through material recovery, or disposal are also considered e-waste. Informal processing of e-waste in developing countries can lead to adverse human health effects and environmental pollution.
Electronic scrap components, such as CPUs, contain potentially harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants."
And it's all those toxic metals and other materials in e-waste that pose a hazard to people and the environment.
Because of these hazards, many states and other agencies have begun to regulate the proper disposal of used electronics. California is a good example of that.
According to that state's environmental protection agency, CalRecycle, the term "e-waste" is loosely applied to consumer and business electronic equipment that is near or at the end of its useful life.
Their website goes not to note that there is no clear definition for e-waste. In other words is has not been established whether or not items like microwave ovens and other similar "appliances" should be grouped into the category of "e-waste."
And, based on the condition and density of certain materials in electronic products, it can render them as hazardous. In fact, California law treats nonfunctioning cathode ray tubes (CRT) from televisions and computer monitors as hazardous.
The problem is that we often find ourselves inundated with a variety of old electronics and it can be a chore to properly dispose of these, or to figure how and where to donate them if they're still usable.
E-Waste is a Fact of Consumer Life
We buy a lot of electronics!
In fact, the sales of smartphones alone makes up a huge amount of the overall electronics consumed in the U.S. and globally. According to one source, in 2019, over 1.5 billion mobile phones were sold. And over 19 billion mobile phones have shipped worldwide between 1994 and 2018.
When it comes to new laptops, they are slackers either. In 2019, it's estimated that there were over 42 million units sold just in the United States alone. And, of course, there were tablets, e-readers, and a variety of other electronic devices sold. All of which often replace existing devices.
And that means more "e-waste" potentially going into the garbage and waste stream.
We created this infographic to provide a, well, "graphic" overview of the the state of e-waste and e-waste recycling.
Recycling old electronics is a practical and highly beneficial alternative to simply tossing them into landfills. Unfortunately, we are still a long ways from recycling 100 percent of our e-waste.
In fact, less than 15 percent of all e-waste is recycled, according to the EPA. But the potential is there for not only recycling this "junk", but for reclaiming the valuable materials and resources within the e-waste.
So, what should you do this holiday season when it's time to replace your old electronics with all the new gadgets you got as gifts?
Your Partners for Holiday E-Waste Recycling
Call on Junk King to provide you with our efficient, safe and eco-friendly e-waste removal service. With Junk King, you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of your old, unusable or unwanted electronics. We'll take care of it for you.
Not only that, but we make sure that your old electronics end up in the right place: a non-profit for electronics that are still functioning, or a recycling facility for those that aren't. We'll make sure that your e-waste is disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
We remove almost all types of e-waste, including: