Statistics show that electronics sales increase during the months of November and December as the holidays approach. When compared with other products, the electronics sector has one of the largest increases in sales revenues during the holidays. While electronics make great gifts, these gifts are often replacements for old items or will eventually become waste themselves.
Proper disposal of electronics is important because they can contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, which pose threats to both humans and the environment. Washington's Department of Ecology has developed a program specifically for solving this problem called E-Cycle Washington. The E-cycle Washington program provides Washington residents the information needed to properly dispose of electronics such as:
~ Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S homes in a year (EPA)
~ Electronics are the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America (EPA)
~ Only 12.5% of all e-waste is recycled
~ 20-50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year
~ It takes 539lbs. of fossil fuel, 48lbs. of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor
~ An estimated 80% of United States computer waste is exported to Asia to be recycled under hazardous conditions