• Home
  • IT
  • Earth Day – Electronics Recycling Facts

Earth Day – Electronics Recycling Facts

Only 13.6% of the consumer electronic products generated into the municipal waste stream (meaning, that people tossed out) were “recovered” for recycling in 2007. This compares to the overall recovery rate of all categories of municipal waste was 33.4% in 2007.


68% of consumers stockpile used or unwanted computer equipment in their homes.

The EPA estimates the following quantities of electronics were in storage by 2007

Televisions: 99.1 million
Desktop computers: 65.7 million
Desktop monitors:   42.4 million
Notebook computers: 2.1 million
Hard copy peripherals: 25.2 million (printers, copiers, faxes, multi’s)
TOTAL:  234.6 million units in storage

Precious metals are recovered from e‐waste recycling. One metric ton of electronic scrap from personal computers (PC’s) contains more gold than that recovered from 17 tons of gold
ore. In 1998, the amount of gold recovered from electronic scrap in the United States was equivalent to that recovered from more than 2 million metric tons (Mt) of gold ore and waste.

A ton of used cell phones (6000 phones, a tiny fraction of today’s 1 billion annual production) yields $15,000 in precious metals ‐‐ contains about 3.5 kilograms of silver, 340 grams of gold, 140 grams of palladium, and 130 kg of copper, according to StEP. The average mobile phone battery contains another 3.5 grams of copper.

Recycling metals from e‐waste uses a fraction of the energy needed to mine new metals  Recycling aluminum uses saves 90% of energy of mining new aluminum. It also prevents the creation of 13 kilograms of bauxite residue, 20 kilograms of CO2, and 0.11 kilograms of sulphur dioxide emissions, and causes many other emissions and impacts.

Reuse Creates More Jobs. Compared to disposal, computer reuse creates 296 more jobs per for every 10,000 tons of material disposed each year.

How can you help? It is easy… just remember to recycle your electronics

If you are worried about your data on your hard drive… contact us. BWS @ 358-6305

Local Electronic Recycling Events
Electronics Recycling Event – Saturday April 24, 2010 – more info
Electronics Recycling Event – Thursday May 20, 2010 – more info