The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a report on electronic waste and electronic recycling in the United States. Figures show that the United States has generated more than 3.4 million tons of electronic waste in 2011, an increase from 3.3 million tons in 2010.
Electronic Recycling Report
Almost 25%, or about 850,000 tons, made its way to electronic recycling facilities rather than landfills. This is up from 2010 which showed a recycling rate of only 19%. The EPA cautions readers that the apparent increase in the recycling rate of electronic waste may be due to better data collection techniques.
The report released by the EPA entitled “Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, Facts and Figures,” is released annually and documents waste habits of American households and businesses. The report shows a major gap between the recycling rate for electronics and other types of waste material.
The numbers are slightly concerning because of how toxic electronic waste can be. Currently, electronic waste represents approximately 2% of the material in American landfills, however, represents almost 70% of all toxic waste disposed of in a landfill.
The hope is that consumer awareness combined with better manufacturer take back programs will increase the rate of electronics recycling. Currently, several manufacturers of electronics offer take-back programs in which used equipment can be returned for proper recycling. For those that wish for an easy option, simply call your local NAID Certified electronics recycler for information on how you can recycle your electronics.