Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tech waste

Recently I had the help of a friend to bring a 36" color analog television to our local thrift store.  I tried to find a friend through work or Facebook that might want it, but none seemed interested. It seems amazing that this television which I had recently inherited from a friend, who's value would have been perhaps $1,000 just ten years ago, seemingly had no value today.

Following are some disturbing points of information about electronics recycling from a local nonprofit, TechDump.

Fact #1: Each year around 80% of all electronic devices (cell phones, tablets and computers) are thrown out in the trash. That means they end up in landfills or incinerators, releasing countless numbers of toxins into the air.
Fact #2: While e-waste only makes up about 2% of all trash in our nation’s landfills, it actually makes up about 70% of all types of toxic waste. The materials in your discarded electronics can cause serious problems for the central nervous system. They can also severely affect your kidneys.
Fact #3: Right now, less than 13% of e-waste is recycled properly. Inlight of the information in Fact #2, we believe this is just scary.
Fact #4: In the United States, if we were to recycle one million laptop computers in the course of a year, that would save the same amount of electricity that’s used to power almost 3,700 homes in a year.
Fact #5: According to an article on the DoSomething.org website, “It takes 539 pounds of fossil fuel, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.” Just one. Incredible, isn’t it?

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