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Electronic Waste

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Electronic Waste

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

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