Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Recycling and Disposal – Facts, Statistics & Solutions
By: Heather Levin
How often do you buy a new cell phone, laptop, or TV? In these gadget-driven days, you probably upgrade your electronics fairly often. Most people don’t think twice about buying the “latest and greatest” technology. After all, companies and their marketing teams spend a great deal of money to make sure that we’re hungry for the next iPad, Xbox 360 Kinect, or LED TV.
While our hunger for electronics and technology keeps growing, what happens to our old stuff? The statistics and trends are startling:
- According to Wirefly.org, the average cell phone user gets a new cell phone every 18 months.
In the U.S., we toss more than 100 million cell phones in the trash every year.
- The EPA reports that over 112,000 computers are discarded every single day, in the U.S. alone. That’s 41.1 million desktops and laptop computers per year.
- 20 million TVs are trashed in the U.S. every year.
- Only 13% of electronic waste is disposed and recycled properly.
- A recent United Nations report suggests that in some countries, production of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), which includes obsolete mobile phones, computers, and HDTVs, could rise by as much as 500% over the next decade. USA Today projected electronic-waste growth and predicted that by 2014, manufacturers will produce 70 million tons of “e-waste.”