How $55 billion gets tossed annually when we throw away electronics into the Abyss

Who doesn’t love a new tech gadget? And with that gadget comes a new cord, a new charger, new earbuds, maybe even a new case and other new accessories. So, what happens to the old stuff? It’s called e-waste and it’s a becoming a major global issue.

The E-Waste Abyss

Every year, roughly $55 billion worth of valuable materials are thrown to the trash with our old electronics. In the U.S. alone, we produce 9.4 million tons of old electronics annually, yet only 12.5% of that gets recycled creating a massive growing problem with electronic waste.

What is e-waste?

E-waste is the global accumulation of discarded electrical and electronic devices that include our computers, TV’s, tablets and mobile phones.

E-waste ranges from devices that are broken and unusable to those that are simply unwanted and obsolete. Any devices that could be destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling or disposal is considered e-waste.

The growing problem

Roughly 41.8 million metric tons of e-waste from Americans is shipped to developing countries annually. In that waste, at least $55 billion worth of valuable materials like gold, silver, copper and palladium could be recovered from old electronics each year if e-waste recycling was as efficient as automotive recycling.

Where is it going?

Some e-waste is sent to certified recycling centers in the U.S. or repurposed and sent to Latin America and Asia, but the vast majority of the e-waste ends up in a hazardous scrapyards and landfills around the world.

The folks at Ryerson have created a visual breakdown of recyclable materials inside of electronics that can be seen below. The goal was to create a resource that could help to educate the people about e-waste and try to put a stop to the river of device debris.

How $55 billion gets tossed annually when we throw away electronics

Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.

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