April 23, 2015
E-waste – short for electronic waste – is one of the biggest problems that we’re dealing with today.
It’s become something nearly insurmountable, and some of it is washing back to us in ways that are dangerous.
For example, e-waste is being shipped out of the country, washed, and then resold back to our military for use in projects that require new and upgraded technology.
E-waste includes anything that is obsolete, discarded or outdated in the appliance or electronics category. E-waste is found everywhere, including the home, office and even in your pocket. E-waste includes microwaves, televisions, computers, pocket computers, cell phones, tablets, keyboards, mouse. monitors and inkjet cartridges.
The demand that we all have today for the “bigger, better, faster, more” current technology, means that we’re keeping our products and our electronic devices for a shorter time. We’re replacing them far more frequently and keeping them, in most cases, less than two years.
It’s estimated that more than two hundred and fifty million computers are going to become obsolete or will be discarded in the next five years alone. Mobile phones are being discarded or thrown away at a rate of more than 130 million phones per year. All of this underscores an urgent need for a proper recycling program for each such item.
More than twenty million metric tons of e-waste are disposed of around the world each year. Much of our e-waste is not disposed of properly. It may end up in landfills or in other areas where it can cause real damage to our environment. According to S.C. Johnson, more than 140 million cell phones ended up in landfills in 2012.
Cell phones, computers and other e-waste contain gold and silver. While we are throwing away our computers and cell phones without a proper electronic waste disposal system, we’re also throwing out more than 50 million dollars a year in gold and silver. If all of the precious metals inside most e-waste was properly recycled, we would recover 35,000 lbs of copper, 770 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium from every million cell phones.
DoSomething.org states that 80% to 85% of electronic products are sent to landfills or incinerators.
E-waste contains very high amounts of lead, a heavy metal. The amount that is found in electronics can cause central nervous system damage as well as kidney damage. When these electronics are placed into landfills, they typically will leech a certain amount of heavy metals into the ground below.
In some cases these heavy metals have found their way into water systems, though it is less common than you might think. Lead and gold in the earth or the water are causative factors in many different types of illnesses and symptoms.
According to the EPA, only about 25% percent of e-waste is reused or recycled through some type of electronic waste disposal process.
The fundraising recycling program offered by Planet Green Recycle not only acts as an electronic waste disposal for small e-waste gadgets (cell phones, inkjet cartridges, tablets, calculators, iPods/MP3 players, etc.) but also earns funds for those schools, religious organization, sports teams and non-profit organizations that participate.
Planet Green is more than just a recycling program – our company has been an USA-based remanufacturer of inkjet cartridges for over fifteen years. By recycling inkjet cartridges and remanufacturing them into earth-friendly, affordable products we do our part to decrease e-waste. You can do your part by keeping your electronics for a bit longer, by recycling your e-waste, and through buying recycled and earth-friendly products whenever possible.