Action: Use electronic devices for as long as possible, think long-term when making purchasing decisions, purchase from responsible
What is E-Waste? Why is e-waste so bad and why does it matter more than, say, regular trash?
E-Waste, or electronic waste, refers to all materials that are electrical and electronic equipment and its parts that have been thrown away as waste. It is only 2-3% of the solid waste in the US, but accounts for about 70% of the hazardous waste in landfills.
How much e-waste is there? Or how much e-waste does the US produce each year? Are there any trends?
- E-waste has increased over 20% from 2015-2019 (Statista)
- US e-waste per capita is 21kg (Statista)
- E-waste is also a cybersecurity problem (IEEE)
Here’s a great page with some answers!
Ways to manage e-waste:
- Buy new gadgets only when you need to. Repair or upgrade devices.
- Repurpose devices for different uses (for example, designers and admin assistants have different tech needs)
- Join the Repair Association (repair.org), a group that advocates for “repair-friendly policies, regulations, statutes, and standards at the national, state, and local levels”
- Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws (https://time.com/5594380/world-electronic-waste-problem/ )
- Donate old tech
- Recycle e-waste.
- Check with manufacturers – https://blog.idrenvironmental.com/4-ways-to-improve-your-companys-electronic-waste-management
- Apple trade-ins: https://www.apple.com/recycling/nationalservices/
- Microsoft: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/compliance/recycling
- Google “Where do I recycle e waste?” Recyclers with the E-Steward label on their websites have been certified to meet high standards.
- Before you recycle your device, seal up any broken parts in separate containers to prevent hazardous materials from leaking. If you’re handling something that’s broken, make sure you’re wearing a mask and gloves before handling.
- Learn more: “IT Asset Management” or “IT Lifecycle Management” “it asset disposal management” “circular IT” https://www.cio.com/article/217546/it-asset-management-itam.html
Contributors: Melissa, Shruti