[Editors note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.]
With the release of the new iPhone there is likely to be a flood of "old" phones being added to the e-waste pile. But how should you manage all that electronic junk removal?
E-Waste, or electronic waste, is everywhere in our homes and offices. And e-waste disposal is a problem. At the rate that most of us replace and upgrade electronics to new models, our old gadgets end up not getting used, often collecting dust in some basement or office.
Think about your home right now: how many printers, computer monitors and old TV sets have been out of commission for over a year now? If you counted a few or more, it’s probably time to get rid of those e-waste items.
Did someone say "junk removal?"
There are a few issues to consider with e-waste disposal. Because of the number of laws and regulations, especially in states such as California, many items such as monitors, TVs, and even cell phones cannot be simply tossed in the trash. What's more, when you want to properly dispose of a computer monitor - particularly any old CRT devices you still have around - the process takes time, effort and money.
Getting Rid of E-Waste is a Global Challenge
According to the website Earth911.com, e-waste disposal and recycling is becoming increasingly problematic.
"E-waste isn’t always easy and convenient to recycle. Local governments often have e-waste collection days a few times a year, but that means that homeowners have to store the unwanted items in the meantime. Several electronic stores will accept electronics for recycling, but Best Buy – one of the largest e-waste recyclers – just began charging for collection of some electronics, including TV and computer monitors."
Jason Linnell, co-founder and executive director of the National Center for Electronics Recycling, attributes the trend in fees to a large drop in demand for metals and glass, as well as other factors.
“There were a number of new companies that formed when commodities such as gold got hot, but since they’ve dropped back down, those firms have failed,” Linnell says. “But also, CRT returns have increased as the new, lighter screens and computer monitors get cheaper. This problem isn’t going away anytime soon, as we estimate there’s about six billion pounds of CRTs still left in people’s homes.”
E-Waste, Disposal, and Recycling
Facing increased regulations and added fees for recycling e-waste, it may seems easier to simply through out your old electronics. But the e- waste problem is that it contains toxic materials that are likely to be detrimental to human health. The following facts about e-waste reveal not only the scope of the problem, but the resources that are being tossed in landfills each year:
- The United States produces more e-waste annually than any other country. The amount of electronics that Americans throw away every year? 9.4 million tons.
- California alone produced 210,790,222 lbs of e-waste in 2012 - over 5 pounds for every California resident.
- Only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled, according to the EPA.
- For every one million cell phones that are recycled, the EPA states that 35,274 lbs of copper, 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium can be recovered. For those not familiar with palladium, palladium is a precious metal using for making electrical contacts, as well as surgical instruments and parts for watches.
- Recycling circuit boards can be more valuable than mining for ore! One ton of circuit boards is estimated to contain 40-800 times more gold than one metric ton of ore. There is 30-40 times more copper in a ton of circuit boards that can be mined from one metric ton of ore.
- Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year, according to the EPA.
- Based on e-waste disposal rates, Americans throw out phones containing over $60 million in gold and/or silver every year.
With businesses and homeowners facing increased regulations and added fees for e-waste recycling, it may seem easier to simply throw out old electronics. In fact, junk hauling is not a typical first option for many people.
Junk Removal of E-Waste Means Recycling: A Great Solution
There are a few issues to consider with e-waste junk disposal. Because of the number of laws and regulations, especially in states such as California, many items such as monitors, TVs, and even cell phones cannot be simply tossed in the trash.
What's more, when you want to properly dispose of a computer monitor - particularly any old CRT devices you still have around - the process takes time, effort and money.
E-Waste Recycling Falls Far Behind It's Potential
The sheer volume of electronics that are disposed of each year in the United States is overwhelming. For example, almost 1.3 million cell phones are replaced every year!
Here is an infographic that illustrates some of the key statistics around e-waste collection and recycling in the United States:
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Consider Professional Junk Removal for Your E-Waste
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly e-waste removal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of those old items. Not only that, but we make sure that your old electronics end up in the right place: whether it be a charity if the electronics are still functioning, or a recycling facility to ensure your e-waste is disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
We remove almost all types of e-waste, including:
- Copy Machines