The United States is the biggest producer of e-waste. Every year, US residents and businesses discard approximately 100 million cell phones, over 41 million computers, and over 20 million TV sets by throwing them into landfills when they become broken or outdated.
How much electronics go into landfills?
E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste. 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year. Cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver.
Do electronics end up in landfills?
Commonly called “e-waste,” these discarded electronic products often end up in the landfill — but they shouldn’t. Some of these items can be repaired or reused if still functional. If they are irreparably broken, the e-waste should be recycled to reclaim reusable materials.
How many electronic devices are thrown away each year?
The United Nations University estimates that an eye-watering 45 million tonnes of computers, televisions, mobile phones and other electronic goods are thrown away every year. And this e-waste is ending up in landfills, when a large amount of it could and should be recycled.
How many cell phones end up in landfills each year?
However the amount of ownership has exceeded most historic industry expectations – approximately 150 million mobile phones are discarded each year in the USA. Approximately 17 tonnes of copper and 0.3 tonnes of silver can be recovered per 1 million devices recycled.
What happens to electronics in landfills?
Electronics that sit in landfills release heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, and lead, a heavy metal that is known to damage the central nervous system, into the water pools.
How many computers are disposed of each year?
Computer Disposal and Recycling
The same year, U.S. consumers disposed of 423,000 tons of computers. Only 40% of those computers were actually recycled and the rest ended up in landfills.
Where do electronics end up?
If you choose to toss your old electronics in the trash instead of disposing of them properly, they will most likely end up in a landfill. Electronic waste currently accounts for 2% of the trash found in U.S. landfills, however it also accounts for 70% of the overall toxic waste.
Why are electronics bad for landfills?
Electronics are made using a lot of chemicals – including poisonous ones. Liquid-crystal display screens contain mercury, cathode-ray tubes have lead, and there’s cadmium in batteries and semiconductors. Dumping e-waste into a landfill means those chemicals can leach into the soil and water.
How many electronics are made a year?
This includes mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, selenium, chromium, and flame retardants. 80% of E-Waste in the US and most of other countries are transported to Asia. 300 million computers and 1 billion cellphones go into production annually. It is expected to grow by 8% per year.
How many electronics are in the world?
The world is home to 7.2 billion gadgets, and they’re multiplying five times faster than we are.
Why is e-waste not recycled?
Often, the materials used in electronics are the biggest challenge for recycling. While manufacturers will tell us that their products are “completely” recyclable, the toxic materials in these products actually make it impossible to recycle them back into electronic products.