E-waste has become one of the world's fastest growing and most toxic waste streams…
- In the EU the WEEE* growth is about 3 times faster than the growth of average municipal waste.
- In 2001, France threw away 1 million and a 1/2 tons of fax, telephones, computers and printers, or 15,000 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower.
- In the UK, over 15 million mobile phones are replaced every year but less than 5% are recycled! Over 30 million printer cartridges are thrown away each year. Almost 27 million of these unwanted printer cartridges could be recycled or re-used.
- Within three years, Americans will be throwing away 130 million mobile phones per year, amounting to 65,000 tons of waste. This waste contains toxic chemicals such as arsenic, beryllium, copper, lead, cadmium, nickel, and zinc. These chemicals have been linked to cancer and neurological disorders.
- 4 million PCs are discarded every year in China.
Electronics recycling may pose serious health risks and environment dangers because of the toxic substances present in them.
What you could do?
- Reuse! Items such as PCs can be passed to a second user when they are replaced by the first user. Charities, schools and other groups can all benefit from donations of computers or low cost machines supplied by refurbishes.
* Waste electric and electronic equipment.