Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
As technology continues to advance, more and more electronics are rendered obsolete. E-Waste, or electronic waste, is the term used to describe electronics that have reached the end of their useful life. Common e-waste items include televisions, desktop computers, fax machines, printers, and VCRs. According to the EPA, approximately 25% of the electronic waste disposed of in 2009 in the United States was collected for recycling. The remaining 75% of e-waste was disposed of in landfills, where the precious metals in the electronics were not recovered.
Some components of electronics can be hazardous. According to New Tech Recycling, e-waste can contain toxic materials such as cadmium, lead, and mercury. When electronics are disposed of improperly, these toxic materials can leach into the environment.
The saying “reduce, reuse, recycle” is a good mantra to remember when looking to reduce e-waste and lessen your environmental footprint. Reduce the creation of e-waste by repairing rather than replacing damaged electronics. Reuse electronics that still function. Recycle electronics that cannot be repaired or resold. Recycling electronics helps conserve natural resources.