How much electronic waste is in our waste stream?
Consumer electronics like televisions, video equipment, computers, audio equipment, peripherals and phones comprise only 2 percent of our solid waste. Although this is a small percentage, it has been steadily on the rise. In 2007, e-waste accounted for over two million tons.
How much electronic waste do we recycle?
Much of what is considered e-waste isn’t even waste per se. It is whole and usable electronic equipment that could easily be reused or recycled for material recovery. In 2007, 18 percent of all electronic products were recycled properly. Cell phones saw the lowest percentage of recycling, at only 10 percent.
How harmful is e-waste?
Electronic devices are comprised of numerous materials, many of which are hazardous to humans and to the environment. The EPA has stepped up efforts to assure that end-of-life electronics are properly handled, and they are working to increase collection of used electronics.