Electronic Waste: Part One

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Electronic Waste: Part One

  1. 1. Electronic Waste: What Is It? Where Does It Come From? Why Is It Dangerous? …And How Do We Stop It? A Podcast By Elizabeth R. Miller March 2010
  2. 2. Electronic Waste  term used to describe waste materials generated from electronics such as phones, printers, televisions and appliances
  3. 3. Why Is It So Dangerous ?  Electronics can contain chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride (PVCs)  These chemicals cause cancer, brain disease, reproductive problems, and affect both people and the environment
  4. 4. The Problem Is Growing. Fast.  E-Waste is the largest growing waste source – growing by over 40 million metric tons a year  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates only 15-20% of electronics are recycled – the rest end up in landfills or incinerators  Recycled products are often shipped to developing countries such as India, China and Ghana
  5. 5. One Toxic Waste Site: Guiyu, China
  6. 6. Guiyu, China
  7. 7. Guiyu, China
  8. 8. Guiyu, China
  9. 9. What Can You Do?  First, do not throw away your old electronics!  If they are still working donate them so they can be reused.  If they are no longer and you want to recycle them in a responsible way…..
  10. 10. Electronics TakeBack Coalition  Visit www.computertakeback.com
  11. 11. Electronics TakeBack Coalition  Website allows you to search for responsible recycler in your area….  ….if there aren’t any it provides advice on how to learn if the manufacturer of your product offers responsible recycling programs  If all else fails, there are still other retailers like Best Buy who may be able to help
  12. 12. What About the Companies That Make These Products?  Some, like Apple’s TakeBack Program allow consumers to recycle products, but there are some restrictions  Dell also will take back their electronics  www.takebackmytv.com allows you to learn if your television manufacturer is acting responsibly (hint: they probably aren’t)
  13. 13. Moving Forward…  Some manufacturers are acting responsibly, others are not  Who is holding them accountable? Who should?  Is it simply a matter of better education?  Should it be mandated by law?
  14. 14. Stay Tuned!  What’s the status of state and federal legislation around e-waste?  Are there other solutions to this problem?

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