It’s no secret that the fastest growing type of waste is electronic equipment (e-waste), growing by nearly 5 percent every year. Technology is constantly improving, and people want the latest and greatest that these companies have to offer. As a result, more e-waste is being disposed of, most of which ends up in the wrong places. We thought it would be a great idea to share some statistics about how much e-waste is generated, thrown away and recycled to give you a better idea of how important recycling is.
How Often is Electronic Equipment Replaced?
The rate at which we go through electronic equipment is constantly on the rise. Most electronics only stick around for a few years before we decide it’s time to move on. This is how often we replace some of the most common electronics.
How Much E-Waste is Generated?
As we mentioned earlier, e-waste is the fastest growing type of waste. The following statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show us exactly how much we throw away.
- 112,000 computers are discarded every day
- 41.1 million desktops and laptops per year
- 20 million TVs are discarded every year
- Over 100 million cell phones are thrown away each year
In total, roughly 20 to 50 million metric tons of electronics are discarded worldwide each year. But only 10 to 18 percent of those electronics are recycled properly. According to this infographic from treehugger.com, the amount we throw in the trash is the equivalent of throwing away 45,500 to 125,00 fully loaded 747 airplanes. That’s enough waste to fill 60 U.S. landfills.
Even giving your e-waste to a recycling company doesn’t always mean it will be handled properly. There are some recycling companies that are simply out to make money. In order to maximize their profits, the materials they receive are sent overseas to places like Africa, Pakistan, India and China, where health and safety standards are almost non-existent. Before you choose an e-waste recycling company, ask what they do with the materials. Pick a company that plays by the rules, or it could come back to hurt your company in the form of bad press or big fines.
So Why Should I Recycle My E-Waste?
Toxins found in electronic equipment include antimony, arsenic, barium, lead and mercury, to name a few. If e-waste is not disposed of properly, it can lead to water poisoning and air pollution, which will effect the environment as a whole. If these toxins are released into the environment, they can cause serious health problems for people, including:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney, liver and digestive system damage
There are a number of things you can do to help keep e-waste out of landfills and help maintain a healthy environment. Buying durable electronics and taking care of your electronics are two ways to prevent the need for new equipment. If you do need to get rid of old electronics, your best options are to donate the equipment to charity, or to find a certified e-waste recycling company that will handle your materials safely and responsibly.
EverLights offers a number of services to businesses looking to recycle e-waste. Take advantage of our pickup services, drop your e-waste off at our location or order one of our easy to use EverMail recycling containers and ship your materials to us.