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The Growing Collection of E-Waste

0711ewaste_ill_400.gifNew to the 2008 World Almanac is a table on computer products disposal from 1999 to 2006 (page 351). In just 2005, Americans threw out 1.4 million tons of computers, monitors, printers, scanners, fax machines, and other peripherals. Only a sixth of that was recycled. The rest went into landfills or sometimes an incinerator.

A caveat: the Environmental Protection Agency considers any electronics not sent to the dump as recycled. This includes pieces sold to developing countries for reuse or just dismantling and chemical recovery.

The Electronics Takeback Coalition aims to raise awareness among consumers about this growing problem and have electronics manufacturers take on greater responsibility in disposing of this waste. In September, Sony Electronics USA became the first to sign their Manufacturers Commitment To Responsible Recycling, which means they won't send toxic e-waste to developing countries, use prison labor in disassembling electronics, or send hazardous chemicals to landfills or incinerators.

Electronics Takeback Coalition

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 26, 2007 12:00 PM.

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