Interesting Facts About E-Waste Management [Infographic]

Katie Baker 4m 935 #ewaste

The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments on this website are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of Confessions of the Professions thereof. By reading the following article, you do not hold responsible Confessions of the Professions or any contributing authors for the content of this confession. Viewer Discretion is Advised.

Read This Confession To Me

More Recycling Would Reduce The Danger Of The World Dealing With E-waste


Recycling old computers in the most lucrative way is the need of the hour. But that lucrative element should be composed with the welfare of nature. Every year millions of tons are produced by the leading countries and an action need to be taken to combat the same. Not only this, people should eye for making a wide change in their recycling habit and secure IT disposals. Computer disposals are widely spread and lead to a disastrous effect on the world and Mother Nature.

A strategy that works constructively to combat this issue must be implemented.

Read this infographic to know more about securing the earth with better E-waste management.

Interesting Facts About E-Waste Management [Infographic]

Click to open / Right-click for save options

PDF Version

Text-Friendly Version


E-waste isn’t always easy and convenient to recycle. Local governments often have e-waste collection days a few times a year, but that means that homeowners have to store the unwanted items in the meantime. Several electronic stores will accept electronics for recycling, but some of the online e-waste recyclers have started charging for collection of some electronics, including TV and computer monitors. The following surprising facts about e-waste may help to spur action – both to protect the environment and to stop wasting resources that amount to quite a lot of cash being tossed in landfills each year:

  • The United States produces more e-waste annually than any other country. The amount of electronics that American throw away every year? 9.4 million tons.
  • Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year, according to the EPA.
  • For every one million cell phone that are recycled, the EPA states that 35,274 lbs of copper, 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium can be recovered. For those not familiar with palladium, palladium is a precious metal used for making electrical contacts, as well as surgical instruments and parts for watches.
  • Only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled, according to the EPA.
  • Based on e-waste disposal rates, Americans throw out phones containing over $60 million in gold and/or silver every year.
  • Recycling circuit boards can be more valuable than mining for ore! One ton of circuit boards is estimated to contain 40-800 times more gold than one metric ton of ore. There is 30-40 times more copper in a ton of circuit boards than can be mined from one metric ton or ore.
  • According to the United Nations, 20-50 million metric tons of e-waste are discard every year.
  • Old television sets as well as CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors contain approximately 4-8 pounds of lead, a neurotoxin. Improper disposal means this toxic substance can leak into the environment.
  • It takes 530 lbs of fossil fuel, 48 lbs of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor, according to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition.
  • In 2014, 41.8 million metric tons of e-waste was shipped to developing countries, creating not only a dumping problem in those countries, but also utilizing resources to transport the waste to countries around the world.
  • Guiyu, China is a major dumping ground for e-waste from the United Sates. After the e-waste is transported over to China, the electronics are dumped in the town where it litters the streets and poisons the residents. Hydrochloric acid is thrown on the items to reveal the steel and copper to be reused. High levels of lead have been reported among residents.
  • Not all e-waste recyclers are the same. There are safer ways to recycle e-waste, and then there are companies that simply export the waste to developing countries. Rather than monitoring the recycling of the e-waste for health and human safety standards in these developing countries, many businesses simply have residents disassemble waste and use scrap metal, exposing workers to toxic materials.
  • It is estimated that only 29% of global e-waste is handled via the accepted best practice recycling channels.
  • Plastics in e-waste can be recycled into garden furniture. Battery components can be reused in other batteries. Metals can be used in jewelry and automotive parts.
  • It is estimated that 40% of the heavy metals in U.S. landfills come from discarded electronics, according to Jonas Allen, Director of Marketing for EPEAT, a global green electronic rating system.
  • According to Allen, if the recycling rates for gold (15%), silver (15%), and platinum (5%) all increased to 100%, the electronics sector could realize $12 billion in financial and natural capital benefits.
  • Approximately 350,000 mobile phones are disposed of each day, according to 2010 figures from the EPA. That equates to more than 152 million phones thrown away in one year.
  • There are more mobile phones in existence than there are the number of people living on Earth. Based on the number of active SIM cards in use, there are more than 7.2 billion mobile devices being used, while there are less than 7.2 billion people on the planet. The growth rate of mobile devices compared to the population growth rate is five times greater.
  • The UN University estimates that global e-waste volumes could increase by as much as 33% between 2013-2017.
  • Many major retailers will take e-waste for recycling, regardless of whether you purchased the product from the retailer or not. Among those stores accepting drop-offs is Staples, Verizon, and Best Buy. Always call ahead of time to confirm that stores will accept e-waste and what types of products they will recycle.

E-waste doesn’t have to mean ‘game over’. Educate yourself on how to properly recycle e-waste. Once you’ve done that, search our recycle search database for outlets in your area!

ecogreen IT recycling