You may be surprised to know that the total amount of e-waste produced each year globally is about 50 million tons and it is predicted to grow by 4% each year. About 9.4 million tons of e-waste is produced in the U.S. alone. No matter what industry you are in, chances are your organization uses technology to some extent. About 2,000 landfills in the U.S. are currently open. These landfills contain toxins, greenhouse gases, and leachate – all of which present concerning threats to our planet. Let us take you through these 15 surprising statistics about electronic recycling that will allow you to think differently about the current way our population disposes of its trash.
- 1. According to the EPA, recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year
- 2. The United States produces more e-waste annually than any other country. As per reports, 9.4 million tons of e-waste is produced in the U.S. which makes it the world’s highest e-waste producer. China is second on the list
- 3. As per reports, the top five leading cities known for recycling in the U.S. are (#1) San Francisco, CA (#2) Boston, MA (#3) Chicago, IL (#4) Denver, CO and (#5) Portland
- 4. Surprisingly, there are more mobile phones in existence than there is a number of people living on planet Earth. Based on the data of active SIM cards in use, there are more than 7.2 billion mobile devices being used, while there are less than 7.2 billion people on the planet.
- 5. For every 10,000 tons of e-waste that are recycled, 296 additional jobs are created
- 6. Recycling one metric ton of e-waste containing personal computers will provide more gold than 17 tons of gold ore
- 7. Only 15% of all U.S. computer users recycle their devices, while products of the rest 85% of users end up in landfills for disposal
- 8. Studies indicate that excessive amount of lead in e-waste if released into the environment, could cause severe damage to human blood and kidneys, as well as central and peripheral nervous systems
- 9. E-waste is the fastest growing source of waste in North America. Only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled, reports the EPA
- 10. For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, 35,274 lbs of copper, 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium can be recovered
- 11. 80% of e-waste in the US and most of the other countries are transported to Asia. Guiyu, China is a major dumping ground for e-waste from the U.S.
- 12. According to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, it takes 530 pounds of fossil fuel, 48 pounds of chemicals and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor
- 13. Americans dump phones containing over $60 million in gold/silver every year. Currently, the growth rate of mobile devices compared to the population growth rate is five times greater
- 14. If all disposed cell phones worldwide are recycled, the energy saved will be equivalent to the power requirement of more than 24,000 US homes
- 15. The most common hazardous electronic items include LCD desktop monitors, LCD televisions, Plasma Televisions, TVs and computers with Cathode Ray Tubes
The problem of e-waste disposal is only expected to rise and get worse as consumption of electronic goods increases in western and developing nations. Hence, it is important to educate yourself and those around you on how to properly recycle e-waste. We at Surplus Service, care about reducing the degree of damage to the environment and its impact on all living beings by providing eco-friendly solutions that lead to the reuse of electronics rather than just having them recycled or end up in a landfill. Surplus Service is highly recognized, qualified and awarded California’s highest sustainability honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) for our continued efforts to make an impact to our planet. If you are an organization or an individual with a business who needs help about e-waste disposal or e-waste solutions, please get in touch with us today. Let’s make 2019 the year of impact.