Electronics Waste Will Soon Weigh as Much as 8 Egyptian Pyramids
The average U.S. resident generates 66 pounds of electronics waste per year, according to a new United Nations analysis, just slightly less than the 70 pounds per capita we add to our lives each year.
And the problem isn’t getting any smaller. By 2017, the UN estimates, world volumes of end-of-life e-products is expected to be 33% higher than 2012 and weigh the equivalent of eight Great Egyptian Pyramids.
Much of that e-waste, as it is known, is generated around the holidays, when new devices are delivered with bright red bows, and the old are discarded. Recycling e-waste properly is important because the electronics often contain toxic heavy metals that should be kept from landfills or incinerators to avoid pollution, and because many components are valuable and can be reused.
The U.N. report includes a first-of-its-kind map, which invites you to compare the electronics consumed and discarded, by country, as well as regulations down to the state level that govern the use and disposal of electronics.
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