Did you know that 20-50 metric tons of electronic waste, such as computers and cell phones, are generated worldwide every year? Americans alone throw out about 130,000 computers per day and around 100 million cell phones annually. 60 Minutes did a piece recently that tracked a container of e-waste that was supposed to be headed for recycling, but instead was dumped illegally in China. The chemicals that seep out of e-waste are toxic and when e-waste is disposed of improperly, these items can contaminate communities and have devastating effects.
It is critical that we all work to reduce e-waste by only buying electronics that we truly need, reusing electronics that still work, and recycling electronics at the end of their life cycle. If you have questions about how to properly recycle e-waste, start by checking your city or county's websites-- there are usually links to places where you can recycle e-waste. And for example, our neighborhood elementary school here in Long Beach, CA hosts a free e-waste recycling event every Spring, so look for similar events in your area. Make sure you're saving your e-waste in an organized fashion so you can transport it easily when it's time to recycle.
As always, reduce, reuse, recycle! Small, everyday changes can make a big difference.