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US Is One of the Biggest E-Waste Offenders

The increasing use of electronics has resulted in more and more e-waste being sent to the landfills, with the United States in the lead. This is a serious problem because e-waste contains useful materials that can be recycled as well as hazardous materials that can seep into their surroundings.


Manassas, VA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/10/2016 --Electronics have become more and more popular over time, meaning that it should come as no surprise to learn that e-waste has become more and more common as well. In fact, a 2015 UN report claimed that a staggering 46.1 million tons of e-waste was tossed into landfills in 2014 while a mere 7.2 million tons was sent-in for recycling. Of the 46.1 million tons, the United States led the list of countries at 7.8 million tons, followed by China, Japan, Germany, and India in that order. It is worth noting that the United States produced a total of 3.5 million tons back in 2008, meaning that the problem is becoming more and more serious over time.

The low recycling rates for e-waste is particularly problematic because it contains huge amounts of recyclable materials. For example, the same UN report estimated 18.2 million tons of iron, 2.1 million tons of copper, and 331 tons of gold to have been locked up in those 46.1 million tons of e-waste. On its own, those 331 tons of gold would have been worth $11.2 billion, but when combined with the other recyclable materials, that estimate rose to $52 billion. Given those numbers, recycling e-waste is not just the ethical but also the pragmatic choice.

At the same time, it is worth mentioning that some of the materials found in e-waste makes it as hazardous as it is valuable, whether it is tossed into the landfills or burned up in the incinerators. For example, mercury is a powerful neurotoxin that is particularly dangerous for both breastfeeding and pregnant women because of its negative impact on the development of the central nervous system. Even worse, mercury is known to build up in food chains, thus raising its risks for species at the top.

With that said, considering the complexities involved in disposing of e-waste in the right manner, it is understandable but not justified that so many people are choosing to toss it out rather than send it in for recycling. Fortunately, there is a simple solution in the form of waste disposal companies such as EnviroSolutions, which possesses both the expertise and the experience needed to get it done right while also minimizing their clients' involvement in the process for maximum ease.

For more information, please visit http://www.esiwaste.com/