What Happens To Our Old Technology?

Americans produce the most e-waste annually, throwing away 9.4 million tonnes. Only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled

We live in such a throwaway society, how many of us actually knows what happens with our old items, especially our old technology? There is always something new coming out, the next big thing or the next must have piece of technology. In fact there have been many items which were once popular but are now considered defunct. There is a great infographic here, which reviews some of our old favourite technology.

E-waste is any electronic waste that is no longer wanted or is now obsolete,
Americans produce the most e-waste annually, throwing away 9.4 million tonnes.
Only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled.
The United Nations states that 20-50 million metric tons of e-waste is discarded every year.

The old CRT (cathode ray tube) TV sets and monitors contain approximately 4-8 pounds of lead, a neurotoxin. 

It takes 530 lbs of fossil fuel, 48 lbs of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.

It is estimated that only 29% of global e-waste is handled via the accepted best practice recycling channels.

Some e-waste recyclers export the waste to developing countries rather than dealing with it correctly themselves.
Many major retailers will take e-waste for recycling, regardless of whether you purchased the product from the retailer or not.
There are plenty of options to recycle e-waste, battery components can be reused again and metals can be used in jewelry and automotive parts.
It is estimated that 40% of the heavy metals in U.S. landfills come from discarded electronics.
China is a major dumping ground for e-waste from the United States.
There were 41.8 million metric tons of e-waste shipped to developing countries in 2014.
Americans throw out phones containing over $60 million in gold and/or silver every year.
For every 1mil phones that are recycled, 35,274lbs of copper, 772lbs of silver, 75lbs of gold, and 33lbs of palladium can be recovered.
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Approximately 350,000 mobile phones are disposed of each day, over a year this adds up to more than 152 million phones
There are more mobile phones in existence than there are number of people living on Earth.
Over 7.2 billion mobile devices being used based on active Sim card, with the earth’s population at over 7.4 billion people.

One ton of circuit boards is estimated to contain 400 to 800 times more gold than one metric ton of ore.

There is 30-40 times more copper in a ton of circuit boards that can be mined from one metric ton of ore.
The UN University estimates that global e-waste volumes could increase by as much as 33% between 2013 and 2017.
Instead of taking unwanted e-waste to the local dump, try selling it online, donating it to local charities or using Freecycle websites to find it a new home.

This interesting infographic was produced by My Voucher Codes.

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