According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average household contains 24 electronic devices. As technology continues to push the envelope on innovation, these products are quickly replaced by the newest and best versions.
Cellular phones, laptops, CD players, printers, batteries and fax machines are just a few examples of the types of devices that can be recycled to reduce the rate of pollution from production.
While many retailers provide buy-back programs when upgrading devices, other items may be more difficult to effectively recycle. Starting this year, the City of Greensburg has begun offering on-call residential e-waste removal through Waste Management.
E-waste is also accepted at Westmoreland Cleanways on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and the second Saturday of each month. Westmoreland Cleanways is located at 128 Innovative Lane, Latrobe.
Electronics are made of various metals including gold, copper, silver and mercury among other metals. In fact, Americans dumped $60 million dollars worth of gold and silver last year.
E-waste is responsible for only 2% of total waste in landfills, but this waste accounts for 70% of America’s toxic waste. The amount of lead used in these products can cause adverse health effects including kidney and blood damage after these products reach groundwater. In addition, burning electronics releases dioxin.
According to dosomething.org, 12.5% of e-waste is currently recycled. E-waste remains the fastest growing municipal waste stream.