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The Lesser-Known Facts About E-Waste Recycling

The Lesser-Known Facts About E-Waste Recycling

Greg Voakes – Business Insider

“The Internet revolution might have revolutionized how we live and communicate, but it’s also had a rather more insidious effect on our environment. Strange as it might sound, our rush to buy new laptops and phones – while chucking our old ones into the trash – has led to a new eco disaster in the making.

Yes, while we all pride ourselves on a commitment to a clean, green planet, our actions say otherwise. Robert Barham of Phone Shop UK says " All those old cell phone chargers you chucked into a bin, the old monitor you just threw away, and the ancient printer that you dumped are all in a landfill somewhere, polluting our planet." Yes, around 14,000,000 junked mobile phones (weighing over 65,000 tonnes) reach our nation’s landfills each year – releasing an astounding 80,000 lbs of highly toxic lead.

And if they aren't being buried, polluting our land and water, they’ll be sent to a developing nation, where workers will, in unsanitary conditions, risk their health in trying to extract precious materials from your old E-waste – did you know that mobile phones contain high amounts of poisonous elements and materials like chromium, mercury, and arsenic?

It’s not just poisonous trash we’re throwing away – cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver – each year, we dump cell phones containing worth over $60 million in gold and silver.

This environmental time bomb is not just fueled by our old and discarded cell phones. Most – around 85% - of computers end up in a landfill. This becomes even more serious and old TVs and CRT monitors contain over 4 lbs of toxic lead. In all, over 2% of the trash found in America’s landfills is E-waste! And, here’s an ever more striking statistic for you to ponder over – E-waste makes up 70% of all toxic waste!

That’s a stunning level of waste – and with more people in developing nations now joining the mobile revolution, it’s only bound to increase. Sixty one per cent of the planet’s population has a cell phone, and this number is rising with every passing day.

The key to this is to recycle. Most people use a cell phone for less than a year, and if those us planning on buying a shine new iPhone or Galaxy S3 can be convinced to recycle our old phones, we’d be doing the planet a huge favor. Our old phones can not only be used by others, but the cash we get from selling them can help fund our next purchase. At the same time, by selling or donating an old phone, we’re keeping it from adding to the rubbish in our landfills, and also enabling someone else to obtain an affordable phone. Hence, if you aren’t already practicing it, you should take an initiative to recycle old cell phones and other e-waste in your household.

Look around your home – you’re bound to have some old electronics (especially cell phones) that you no longer use. You might have put off donating or selling them off, but let’s face it – an old laptop, tablet or cell phone you haven’t used in a year is hardly likely to be of use! Recycle, and save the environment."

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For more information on how you can responsibly recycle your household e-waste and IT scrap in the Central Ohio area, please visit,, or call us at 614.453.0709

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