Importance of Recycling Electronic Waste

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Should We “Recycle” Our Electronic Waste? Where did the electronic waste go? When we throw out our old equipment, old TVs and computers end up in landfills, there are various toxic metals can cause various environmental problems. Yet even recycling the electronic waste, it might not be good to our environment. Have you even thought of how the United States shipping their electronic waste to some developing countries and the problems it may cause? As the United States passed the laws to recycle the electronic wastes, the companies can ship the electronic waste to the so-called recyclers in other countries legally. Recyclers, however, can be the intermediaries only since they can gain a huge profit from just exporting the electronic waste to other countries. Every year, around 80 to 85 percent of electronic products were discarded in landfills, which include some metals that release certain toxics into the air. Even the electronic wastes consistently bring damage to the environment, people in those developing countries, like China and India, still take this risk since they can make profit by separating the metal parts from the waste. Therefore, it is not an ethical choice to throw our electronic waste. Are we really recycling the electronic waste? • Recyclers: Although the US passed the law to recycle their E-wastes, it has caused many problems to other countries. Instead of recycling the wastes, the recyclers are actually refurbishing the waste. Instead of solving the problem in an environmentally friendly way, “recyclers” have found that that they can make a lot more money just exporting those electronic waste since they are able to externalize their costs. Therefore, tons of electronic wastes are shipped to those developing coun... ... middle of paper ... ...s one of the fastest growing waste streams in the US. Here are some significant facts that we should pay attention to: Cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver. Americans dump phones containing over $60 million in gold or silver every year; For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, there are 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered; It takes 539 pounds of fossil fuel, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor; Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes per year. We are living in a planet that has limit resources. As a result, we should protect our environment not only for ourselves, but for our descendants and other species as well.
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