Recycling E-Waste in America Today
A typical computer monitor contains an average of 4 pounds of lead.
If we calculate 4 pounds of lead per monitor for an estimated 500
million computer systems that became obsolete between 1998 and 2007,
it equals a total of 2,000,000,000 lbs. of lead.
2,000,000,000 lbs. of lead that could potentially have been reclaimed
between 1998 and 2007. We may extrapolate that less than 15% of
this amount was recovered.
~ Stats from NRC and EPA
What is the Environmental Toll of Not Reclaiming E-Metals?
1. The release of toxins into water and soil from unreclaimed metals
in land fills; many of which have leaky or end of life containers.
2. The destruction of landscape in mining raw materials, a portion
of which could have been reclaimed.
3. The release of toxins into air, water and land from by products
and chemicals used to extract metals.
4. The release of toxins into air from incinerating e-waste.
In 2001, only 11% of personal computers retired in the US were
recycled; some were reused but many remained in people’s garages,
closets and storage facilities.
~Recycling Alliance of Texas, Phases of E-Cycling
To learn more about it, go to:
Product Stewardship Program
Commission on Environmental Quality