Tuesday, May 16, 2006

E-Waste Is Big Business

As consumers, we naturally are interested in upgrading and improving our newest “toys,” and computers are no exception. But as our nation of 280-million people continues to “ratchet up” with technology, what is happening to yesterday’s newest apparatus that has become obsolete today?
Electronic disposal, or “e-waste,” has become big business. In fact, discarded consumer electronics comprise the fastest-growing portion of waste in the country. Every year, 20-million to 50-million metric tons of e-waste are generated worldwide, bringing potentially serious risks to human health and the environment. In America alone, between 1997 and 2007, nearly 500-million personal computers will become obsolete—almost two computers for every person in the United States. More than 3.2-million tons of e-waste are buried in U.S. landfills each year.
The National Recycling Coalition reports that televisions and video and computer monitors use cathode ray tubes (CRTs), which have significant amounts of lead. Printed circuit boards contain primarily plastic and copper, and most have small amounts of chromium, lead solder, nickel and zinc. In addition, many electronics products have batteries that often contain nickel, cadmium and other heavy metals. Relays and switches in electronics, especially older ones, may contain mercury.
Read the following article by Kenn Ritchey of EPC's Asset Recovery Solutions and learn the ins and outs of dealing with e-waste.
Click here to read the article.

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