So, what happens to all the old devices as they’re continually replaced by the next hot model—especially around the holidays when such items make popular gifts. Well, they get tossed like any other refuse. What was once a fixture in your everyday life instantly and continually becomes yesterday’s trash, and that is the subject of the latest hot-button environmental issue: e-waste.
According to a recent article on TheDailyGreen.com by Dan Shapley, “The average U.S. resident generates 66 pounds of electronics waste per year, according to a new United Nations analysis, just slightly less than the 70 pounds per capita we add to our lives each year. By 2017, the UN estimates, world volumes of end-of-life e-products is expected to be 33 percent higher than 2012 and weigh the equivalent of eight Great Egyptian Pyramids.”
So, what problems do vast amounts of e-waste generate besides finding enough space to discard it all? In addition to squandering loads of recycling potential, discarded electronics often end up releasing a lot of their toxic metals into the environment. These materials should be kept out of incinerators and landfills to avoid spreading.
Unsurprisingly, cell phones account for the largest amount of used electronics. Therefore, they’re responsible for one of the largest contributions of toxic metals as well as the biggest cause for bad etiquette.
If you want to help cut down on e-waste yourself, Shapley has some great advice: