Every time you turn around another company is coming out with the latest model of a phone, video console, TV… etc. The list could go on. We are all consumers, wanting to be up on technology. One thing that we as a society don’t always take into consideration is the waste that comes along with consumerism.
A growing concern of environmentalists, frankly we all should be, is the amount of e-waste that is being discarded on a daily basis. “Americans produce over 50 million tons of e-waste.” (www.cbsnews.com) The problems with throwing away all of the electronics that we no longer have a need for are the hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium within the devices. When they are not properly disposed of, these chemicals can leak into the ground, groundwater, and streams.
States are beginning to pass regulations on e-waste. Along with the regulations, companies and manufacturers’ are starting to participate in the recycling programs allowing you to bring in your old electronics. Best Buy and Home Depot are two companies that offer e-waste recycling. Phone companies are also on board with bringing in your old phones to trade in.
Thankfully, the percentage of recycled e-waste is increasing. Knowledge is key. Finding the proper ways to dispose of electronics is crucial. Recycle Nation helps you find local places that recycle anything from electronics to hazardous waste.
Cell phones can be traded in for money on your next device or if a local school has a recycling program, you can help earn money for education. Do your part, before throwing away batteries, old computers, cell phones, see if there are better options.
Here are two articles with more information and graphs:
Find recycling centers near you: