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What happens when the electronical devices are thrown away? Wikipedia is transfered in seconds!
  What happens when the electronical devices are thrown away?


Computers, keyboards, printers, TVs, and cell phones, these are a few of our favorite things. Many Americans, and the citizens of developed countries world wide have come to love and depend on the electronic devices we use every day. We check the news on our computers in the morning, and watch our favorite sit-com in the evening. We keep in touch, and do business using our cell phones. But there is an often ignored issue involving our love affair with our devices, the growing amount of E-waste the world is producing, and the result of our attempts to deal with it.

According to Greenpeace the world throws away 20-50 tonnes of E-waste each year. Our discarded computers, keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, mobile phones, and TVs are all included in this total. When I consider my own home, I count around 15 electronic devices. Some still being used, and more than a few mobile phones, no longer loved, have been relegated to the junk drawer, kept " just in case". In the end, all will be thrown out.

The majority of the quickly growing world wide stream of E-waste comes from North America, and Europe. Although some less developed countries have been catching up quickly. Asia generates an estimated 12 tonnes of E-waste annually.

In the US 4.6 million tonnes of discarded electronics goes in to landfills according to the EPA. Once in the landfill, your old electronics start to release a variety of toxins including heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury. These toxic metals may reach the ground water, and enter the food chain. Another common method of disposal or electronics in the US is incineration. This sends the toxic components into the air.

With developed Western countries producing a vast majority of the worlds E-waste, many are surprised to find that most it ends up being sold to companies in China, and India. In these countries armies of low paid, and poorly protected workers process and recycle E-waste. They extract the valuable copper, iron, silicon, and gold from the waste. This process has the potential to be very damaging to the environment and dangerous for the worker. Lower pay for workers, non existent environmental regulations, and lower safety standards for workers have made these countries the receptacle for our electronic waste.

The best possible solution for the growing E-waste problem is reuse. Many schools and non-profit organizations would be thankful for the working computer that you consider obsolete. Once our electronics are no longer usable, there are responsible ways to recycle them. The EPA recognizes two certification standards for responsible recycling of E-waste: the Responsible Recycling Practices (R2)and the e-Stewards® standards . Companies certified under these programs arecommittedto reducing the human and environmental impact of recycling electronic waste. Both of these organizations offer tools on their websites that allow you to find a local facility to recycle your E-waste responsibly.





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