Factoid Friday: Old Fax Machine Collecting Dust? Don’t Let it Become a Statistic!
EWaste is all around us – you know, electronic products nearing the end of their lifecycle – cell phones, televisions, computer CPUs and monitors, even old microwaves and coffee machines. You probably have some of it accumulating dust in your garage.
According to a recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of electronic waste created in the United States between the years 2000 and 2010 would fill enough space to cover the entire island of Manhattan at a depth of three feet. It is estimated that Americans now own approximately 24 electronic products per household. And in 2009, only 17% of electronic waste was recycled.
Materials in electronic products can be hazardous and threaten air and water quality when improperly disposed of. The dumping of eWaste without recycling can cause serious environmental and health problems (in addition, it is illegal in California to dump electronics in the trash).
Recycling electronic devices not only helps our environment but can work to recover valuable resources that can be used again in the new gadget you want to buy. A San Diego start-up, ecoATM, offers automated, self-serve “ATMs” located in shopping centers. These kiosks buy back used electronics for cash so their components can be recycled into new products.
Photo credit: ecoATM