E-Waste By The Numbers

Between the inconsistent laws around the world, the incredibly rapid advancement of modern technology, and the sheer amount of obsolete and unused electronics stockpiled in homes and warehouses, the e-waste problem isn’t getting any better. As such, it is incumbent upon all of us to responsibly manage electronic waste; after all, we will be passing the torch of stewardship of the planet to future generations. The statistics on the recycling of e-waste must improve, and with your help, we can make that happen.

Current Statistics on E-Waste

    Americans throw away over 9 million tons of e-waste each year, easily the most in the world
    According to the EPA, only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled
    Estimates are that only about 29% of global e-waste is handled by certified recyclers using the best practices; this has resulted in places like Ghana and areas of China becoming dumping grounds for e-waste from the US
    2014 saw 41 million metric tons of e-waste shipped to developing countries, much of which wound up in landfills
    The UN reports that 20-50 million metric tons of e-waste are simply discarded each year worldwide
    Old televisions and CRT monitors each contain several pounds of lead, a debilitating neurotoxin. Tossing these into landfills often leads to this lead leaking into the ground
    The EPA says that around 350,000 cell phones are thrown away every day; this adds up to over 150 million phones tossed out in one year
    There are more cell phones in existence than there are people on Earth, and the growth rate of such devices is expanding
    E-waste volumes worldwide are forecasted to grow to 65 million metric tons as early as 2017

Visualizing The World's E-Waste Problem

Infographic courtesy fonebank under Creative Commons License 

Next Steps

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